Ukraine’s parliament has voted to impeach the government in protest against the gas deal it clinched with Russia last week.
A no-confidence motion was supported by 250 deputies in the 450-seat parliament.
They are angry because the agreement means Ukraine will pay nearly twice as much for its gas imports this year.
The developments increase the pressure on President Viktor Yushchenko, whoseparty faces a strong challenge from former allies and long-time adversaries in the March elections.
The driving force behind the vote was former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko.
She was sacked by Yushchenko, with whom she came to power in the Orange Revolution of November 2004.
She has vowed to fight the gas deal.
The row between Kiev and Moscow culminated in Russian state monopoly Gazprom cutting supplies to its neighbour on New Year’s day. They were restored when the two countries found a compromise a few days later.