( dpa ) - Ukraine is to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after reaching a final deal with the European Union, officials in Brussels said Thursday.
In a statement, the EU said the two sides had resolved all outstanding issues during a meeting in London late on Wednesday attended by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Hryhory Nemyrya and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
"This is an important day for Ukraine," Mandelson said in a statement made available in Brussels.
"Today's agreement clears the way for Ukraine fully to join the world trading system. This is the first step towards greater Ukrainian integration with the global and the European economy," he added.
The EU is the Ukraine's largest trading partner. In 2006, 42 per cent of Ukrainian imports came from the EU while 25 per cent of its exports were absorbed by the 27-member bloc.
Once Wednesday's deal is ratified, Ukraine will be able to join the WTO and sign free-trade agreements with the EU and other WTO members.