Ukraine: Yanukovitch accepts cabinet resignation

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet.

The president asked them to stay on in an interim capacity.

A number of cabinet members were re-elected in October and therefore expected to resign their posts.

Azarov has led tough and so far unsuccessful negotiations with Moscow in an attempt to get a reduction in the price Kiev pays for Russian gas.

Yanukovich now has the option of re-appointing Azarov and individual ministers if he so chooses.

There is talk in the capital that the president may discard Azarov and replace him with central bank chief Serhiy Arbuzov.