The EU is likely to grant Ukraine wanted market economy status ahead of the European Union-Ukraine summit on December 1, the European Commission announced today.

“Our assessment is that overall the Ukraine’s market economy status has been evolving positively,” stated EU spokesman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, BusinessWeek reported.

Recognition as a market economy is largely symbolic, but it would give Ukraine added protection against possible charges of breaking global trade law on antidumping.

The EU questioned Ukraine earlier this year about government price intervention and bankruptcy rules.

Hansen said the EU had all the information it needed and would ask its 25 member states to approve any recommendation to grant market economy status, join WTO and become an associate member of the EU within three to five years.

But Ukraine’s first months under new leadership have left some investors disappointed – and confused about the new government’s commitment to a market economy. A government decision setting price limits on petrol earlier this year led to criticism that the government was meddling in price politics – something that would stop it receiving market economy status. Yushchenko later ordered his government to let the market decide prices.


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