Reports: Ukraine Gets Market Econ. Status

KIEV, Ukraine -- The United States has granted Ukraine market economy status, giving a new victory to President Viktor Yushchenko's pro-Western government, Ukrainian news agencies reported Friday.

Deputy Commerce Secretary David Sampson

The Unian and Interfax news agencies, citing unnamed sources, reported that the status would take immediate effect.

Deputy Commerce Secretary David Sampson was in Ukraine holding talks with top officials. The U.S. Embassy refused to comment on the report.

The European Union agreed in December to declare Ukraine a free market economy, making it easier for this ex-Soviet republic to trade with the 25-nation bloc.

Receiving market economy status from the U.S. would help Ukraine significantly in its bid for membership in the World Trade Organization.

Source: AP