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Frosty dinner predicted in Vilnius as EU leaders set to meet with Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich

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Frosty dinner predicted in Vilnius as EU leaders set to meet with Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich

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There is a bitter chill in Vilnius. How much will the weather reflect any diplomatic recriminations when EU leaders meet with Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich in the Lithuanian capital for an eve-of-summit dinner?

They will mix for the first time since the Ukrainian president spurned Brussels’ offer of a free trade deal and decided on closer ties with Russia.

It is not clear what the Ukrainian president hopes to achieve by attending the dinner.

EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet beforehand to work out how to handle the situation, officials said.

And how much tension will the Yulia Tymoshenko situation cause especially with Angela Merkel?

Germany was going to accept Tymoshenko for medical treatment under a compromise which was being put together by a two-man humanitarian mission. That along with the signing of the trade deal has gone by the wayside.

The summit is part of the Eastern Partnership, the EU’s four-year-old programme of outreach to former Soviet states which includes Moldova and Georgia.

Brussels will go ahead with initial political association agreements with the two states ahead of a formal agreement in about a year’s time.