Ukraine is 152nd WTO Member

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 2/05/2008 06:18:00 PM
[Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy seal the deal for the Ukraine's WTO accession.]

For those of you who missed it, the Ukraine is now well on its way to WTO membership. Part of it has to do with the country trying to lessen its Soviet-era ties with Russia given the latter's increasing assertiveness aimed at keeping former territories and satellites in its sphere of influence. Consider it as another episode in the "Orange Revolution" which represented a backlash against Russian hectoring. From the WTO blurb:
The General Council today paved the way for Ukraine’s membership in the WTO by approving its accession terms. Ukraine will have to ratify the deal by 4 July 2008 and would become a WTO member 30 days after the ratification.

“Ukraine’s WTO membership will strengthen the multilateral trading system and provide this country with a stable and predictable trade environment that will boost its growth and prosperity. I am particularly pleased to welcome to the WTO President Victor Yushchenko, whose personal commitment to his country’s accession was a major factor in the successful outcome to these negotiations.” declared Director-General Pascal Lamy.

Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko declared “Ukraine’s membership to the WTO is truly an historic moment and is a decisive milestone in the development of our economy. We are convinced that our efforts will yield results and allow us to build closer economic ties worldwide.” Ukraine applied for WTO membership in 1993, and the Working Party concluded the negotiations on 25 January 2008 under the chairmanship of Chile’s Ambassador Mario Matus. The General Council approved the Working Party report, the market access schedules on goods and services, the General Council Decision and the Protocol of Accession.