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.