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Europe

Market Status to Come Soon for Ukraine

EU Commission President Romano Prodi has said that market status for Ukraine would come "very very soon."

During a meeting with Ukrainia's Premier Viktor Yanukovych, Prodi hinted that the EU could grant Ukraine its long sought-after market status at the forthcoming EU-Ukraine ministerial meeting in July. He added that only two issues were outstanding, the level of bankruptcy and pricing. Yanukovych described the problem as "outdated", and said that the issue must be solved at the summit. The move would clear a major hurdle on Ukraine's path towards becoming a member of the World Trade Organisation. Yanukovych is tipped as a candidate to become the next Ukrainian President and has the backing of the incumbent Leonid Kuchma. However there are great misgivings about the fairness of the elections on the European side. Fears have been voiced that Kuchma will do anything to keep his archrival Viktor Yushchenko out of power. Prodi warned that elections must be free and fair. Privately EU diplomats say the elections will be crucial in determining how relations develop in the coming years. (EUobserver.com)

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