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Ukraine Completes Reforms Needed for WTO Entry

The Ukrainian parliament has passed the final piece of legislation needed for the former Soviet bloc country to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday that sets tariff rates on the export of scrap metal and products crafted from such metals.

The law is the latest in a series of measures liberalizing Ukraine's economy before its expected WTO entry early next year.

President Viktor Yushchenko has set rapid WTO membership as a key objective. His archrival Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has also made WTO accession a high priority.

Countries joining the global trade group are required to abolish tariffs, subsidies and other barriers that protect local industries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.