WTO Push

Looks like team Yushenko is finally making an effort to push through legislation necessary for Ukraine to join the WTO and get US trade restrictions lifted. Sound like it wasn't without difficulty.

The Financial Times says that: Yulia Tymoshenko, prime minister, and Volodymyr Lytvyn, the parliamentary speaker, needed to shout as opponents sounded sirens and scuffled briefly with pro-government deputies.

The Kiev Post paints an even more vivid picture: As WTO-related bills came onto the slate that day, members of parliament's left and center-left factions stormed the podium to block the bill from coming up to vote, snatching the microphone from Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn before he could floor the legislation. Scuffling broke out; they even reportedly broke the microphone. The usual suspects were responsible for the obstruction:
members of the Communist and Socialist party factions, and of the bitterly oppositionist Regions of Ukraine and Social Democratic Party of Ukraine
(united) parties.

The Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) are my next door neighbors...and I didn't see any injuries yesterday so I guess at the least they're ok.

Part of the legislation that WAS passed apparently includes "criminal liability for illegal circulation of compact discs, equipment and raw materials for their production, and moulds." This can't bode well for the local piracy market.

More on this WTO fracas as it develops.