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Ukraine plans to join WTO later this year

LONDON, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine plans to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) later this year, a Ukrainian official told an investment summit Monday.

Igor Mityukov, adviser to the Ukrainian prime minister, said accession to the WTO was this year's priority for the Ukrainian government, and that negotiations with WTO member-countries had almost been completed.

"We can see no insurmountable obstacles in this direction," the official said on the sidelines of the forum.

He said Ukraine's parliament would soon have to adopt several draft laws, which have already been approved in the first and second readings, and that the government should efficiently introduce adopted legislation.

"I believe Ukraine could join the World Trade Organization in the latter half of 2007," Mityukov said

The Ukrainian official said he would refrain from comparing the timelines for Russia's and Ukraine's accession to the WTO, since there were "substantial differences between the two countries' economies."

He added that both countries should first of all pursue a coordinated tariff policy so that their accession to the WTO would not undermine existing economic relations.

To join the 150-nation World Trade Organization, Russia must sign bilateral protocols and complete multilateral talks with all its trading partners in the organization.

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