If Ukraine fails to join the WTO, it would possibly lead to breakage of future cooperation between Ukraine and the EU, Ambassador Roman Shpek, Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the EU told Ukrainian journalists in Brussels.

According to him, the fulfilment of the EU-Ukraine Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will be checked in 2006. If Ukraine manages to join the WTO, start discussions on a free trade zone and prove it's democracy at the parliamentary elections of 2006 by that time, we can start negotiations on a new EU-Ukrainian cooperation agreement, as the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is valid only till January 1, 2008.

According to the Ambassador, the new cooperation agreement, if reached, would definitely mean that the EU recognizes Ukraine's right for the EU membership.

Ukraine's WTO membership will enable Ukraine to start negotiations on the free trade zone with the EU. That's why, Ukraine should be primarily concerned with meeting its engagements to join the WTO. The success is inevitable under condition of a bipartite cooperation between the Government and the Verkhovna Rada.

The former Government ignored the opportunity of Ukraine's accedence to the WTO, which is, however, among Ukraine's top priorities. The EuroCommission assists Ukraine in joining the WTO under a bipartite agreement on mutual access to markets, which was endorsed between the EuroCommission and Ukraine, Roman Shpek said.

According to the diplomat, European partners can't understand why Ukraine refuses to fulfil its commitments, but raises a matter on a future agreement. The WTO is ready to consider a matter of Ukraine's WTO membership.


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