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European Commission Says It Will Propose Ukraine Get Market Economy Status

Barroso said he was 'looking forward' to informing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko about the decision at the 1 December EU-Ukraine summit (file photo) (epa) Brussels, 30 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission said today it will inform Ukraine that it has decided to propose Ukraine be recognized as a functioning market economy.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement today that he "looks forward to informing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko of our intention to grant market economy status to Ukraine."

Speaking in Brussels, EU External Relations spokeswoman Emma Udwin earlier today told RFE/RL's Ukrainian that Barroso would give Yushchenko "very good news" at the EU-Ukraine summit tomorrow.

"We do feel that Ukraine has met the technical requirements to be granted market economy status," she said. "Not all procedures have yet been carried out on our side, but I think that Barroso will be expecting to give President Yushchenko some very good news on this tomorrow."

The Commission's proposal on Ukraine must go through an approval process in the Council of Ministers, but that is considered only a formality.

Gaining market economy status is considered a step toward Ukraine's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

(with RTR)