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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 11:40 GMT
Ukraine leader: Cabinet must stay
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov and cabinet
Prime Minister Yekhanurov says he will stay in office for now
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has called on parliament to rescind its vote to sack his government.

He told a cabinet meeting that he had signed an appeal demanding that parliament "cancel the unconstitutional decision to sack the government".

Parliament voted for the sacking earlier this week, condemning the government's agreement with Russia to pay double the price for gas.

Correspondents say there are doubts about the legality of the vote.

Ukraine is carrying out complex political reforms which will change the relationship between parliament and the government.

GAS ROW TIMELINE
Nov 2005 - Russian gas giant, Gazprom, demands Ukraine pay market rates for gas supplies
13 Dec - Gazprom threatens to cut supplies if deal not reached by 1 January
28 Dec - Ukraine's energy minister visits Moscow but fails to resolve row
1 Jan 2006 - Russia cuts off gas supplies to Ukraine
3 Jan - EU calls for end to row, as supplies across Europe hit
4 Jan - Deal reached. Ukraine agrees to pay Russia double for gas supplies
10 Jan - Ukraine's parliament votes to sack cabinet over deal

Mr Yushchenko discussed the gas deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, and both leaders agreed that it was good for everyone and would not be renegotiated.

It was their first meeting since Russia turned off Ukraine's gas on 1 January, after Kiev refused to accept a four-fold price increase.

The disruption to supplies affected a number of European countries.

Ukraine now pays double the previous price, at $95 (54) per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

Mr Yushchenko said parliament did not have the authority to dismiss the government.

It was the second time in six months that a Ukrainian government had been sacked.




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