EU, Ukraine agree on final terms for Kiev’s WTO accession
BRUSSELS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) and Ukraine have resolved the final outstanding issues in their discussions on Kiev’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU said on Thursday.
"At a meeting in London, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyrya sealed the final terms of the agreement," said a statement by the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.
"The agreement clears the way for the final approval by WTO members of the terms of Ukraine’s accession. Following ratification of the accession agreements, Ukraine will become a member of the WTO," said the statement.
Following the meeting with Nemyrya, Mandelson also hailed the agreement with Ukraine on Wednesday.
"This is an important day for Ukraine. The EU has always been a firm supporter of Ukraine’s WTO membership," he said. "Today’s agreement clears the way for Ukraine fully to join the world trading system. This is the first step towards greater Ukrainian integration with the global and the European economy."
The EU completed its bilateral negotiations with Ukraine on its WTO accession in 2003. It has since then continued to work with Ukraine in the multilateral working group that considers all applications for WTO membership on a number of issues, including guarantees concerning agreed reductions in export duties on some raw materials, according to the European Commission.
"The EU will now begin negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement with Ukraine," said the statement.