Ukraine parliament ratifies WTO membership agreement in key vote

Kiev  -  Ukraine's parliament on Thursday gave its approval to entering the World Trade Organization, giving a decisive victory to reform politicians in the former Soviet republic.

The national legislature the Verhovna Rada in a rare show of agreement between its pro-Europe and pro-Russia factions, voted 411 in favour of the measure, out of 449 legislators present.

The only opponents of WTO membership was the minority Communist party and a few left-wing independents, who abstained from casting ballots.

The vote was a dramatic success for the thin pro-Europe majority currently in control of Ukraine's government, which for months had failed to push approval of the WTO through the legislature, in the face of the pro-Russia opposition.

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