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Ukranian parliament erupts in violence over WTO reforms

[JURIST] Ukranian lawmakers engaged in a protracted fistfight in parliament [official website in Ukrainian] Wednesday as a debate over legislative reforms required for WTO accession grew ugly in Kiev. Communists sounded sirens as Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn attempted to call for order after both sides resorted to punches. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website] remains confident that the legislative package will be passed so that accession to the World Trade Organization [official website] can move forward, a key goal for providing economic relief to the country as well as a test for the new pro-Western government. Communist lawmakers claim that the reforms, only one of which passed Wednesday out of a total of fourteen, would cost Ukraine its freedom from foreign influence. AP has more.

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