Ukraine's parliament on Thursday passed all the laws needed to meet the World Trade Organization's admission requirements, AUR reported.

The Verkhovna Rada approved 11 bills, including legislation governing customs tariffs on metals and scrap; a law on food security and quality; and changes to a law protecting intellectual property.

Ukraine said in December that it had brought its legislation into line with WTO requirements, but the 150-nation global trade rules body has since made new demands.

President Viktor Yushchenko has made joining the WTO a priority for Ukraine, which needs foreign investment to boost its economy. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has said he hopes the ex-Soviet republic could join the WTO this year.

Socialists and Communists, who now are in the ruling parliamentary coalition, have opposed some of the measures, fearing the impoverished work force could suffer by aggressively opening the country up to foreign trade and WTO standards.


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