KIEV, Oct. 18 â€“ President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday used his constitutional power and submitted to Parliament legislation that is required for Ukraine to join the World Trade Organization.
Yushchenko urged lawmakers to approve the legislation before the end of the next week in order to make sure the country joins the WTO before the end of the year.
The move comes after Parliament, led by a pro-government majority, voted to postpone the debate of WTO bills for at least two weeks, jeopardizing the deadline set by Yushchenko.
â€śThe president cannot let the situation continue in which the governmentâ€™s rating overseas is declining and Ukraine is not joining the WTO,â€ť Arseniy Ysteseniuk, Yushchenkoâ€™s deputy chief of staff, said.
Yushchenko submitted an overall of 16 bills for Parliamentâ€™s approval in addition to three that had been earlier submitted by the government. All are required to join the WTO, Yatseniuk said.
The Communist Party, a small leftist ally of the governing Regions Party, has vehemently opposed Ukraineâ€™s accession to the WTO. Russia has asked Ukraine to postpone the accession to the WTO to make sure that both countries are admitted to the organization at the same time.
Continued on page 2