9. UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES STILL OPTIMISTIC WITH REGARD TO UKRAINE’S JOINING WTO

Protocols needed with the USA, Australia, Panama, Egypt & Colombia

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine,

Monday, December 19, 2005

KYIV – Despite Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization during
the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong was not included into the
agenda, members of a Ukrainian delegation, who participated in the forum as
observers, are still optimistic. As Deputy Economics Minister Valeriy
Piatnytskyi stated, presently, Ukraine’s accession to the organization is
very close to completion.

In particular, the USA’s position demonstrating its readiness for reaching
positive result makes Ukraine optimistic. Agreements with the USA, as many
people think, is a key to completion of the negotiating process. However,
Valeriy Piatnytskyi admitted, in a multilateral organization one should not
say that anyone is less important.

As Mr Piatnytskyi stressed, it’s highly desirable for Ukraine to soon
complete bipartite negotiations and sign protocols with the rest of the
countries before a working group meeting, slated for first quarter of 2006.

According to Valeriy Piatnytskyi, upcoming parliamentary elections, which
turned the process of Ukraine’s accession to the WTO into subject for
political clashes, is very disturbing. Actually, this situation is lasting
for almost a year, the Parliament opposing the WTO bills, without listening
to arguments.

As the Deputy Economics Minister believes, introduction of normal,
predictable and transparent trade rules is necessary not for the WTO, but
for the normal development of Ukraine’s national economy. The most
important is not to lose partners’ confidence in Kyiv’s readiness to wind
up the process.

According to the Ukrainian delegation, led by Economics Minister Arseniy
Yatseniuk, Ukraine’s efforts on the way to the WTO were positively assessed
by the organization leaders and by other member-states.

Signing the Ukraine – China protocol on mutual access to markets of goods
and services is among key results of the Ukrainian delegation’s
participation in the Conference. Thus, the protocols with the USA,
Australia, Panama, Egypt and Colombia left to be signed. -30-

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