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Ukraine Parliament Dismisses Government Over Russia Gas Deal

Ukraine's parliament has voted to dismiss Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov's government over a gas deal with Russia.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told reporters in Astana, Kazakhstan that the vote was unconstitutional. He said he will elaborate on the matter after consulting with his lawyers. Even if he is dismissed, Mr. Yekhanurov will remain acting prime minister until a new cabinet is named.

Ukraine's Justice Minister, Serhiy Holovaty says a new cabinet can only be formed after parliamentary elections in March.

The vote followed criticism of a deal reached last Wednesday under which Ukraine would pay $95 for 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas. The price is double what Ukraine had been paying.

Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko last week announced plans for court action to challenge the agreement. She said she would seek charges of betrayal of national interests and exceeding authority.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.