Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich arrived in Vilnius to what could be a frosty reception after he quashed hopes of signing significant trade deals with the EU.
Acting under pressure from Russia, he refused to sign agreements which would have been the highlight of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is expected to hold talks with Mr Yanukovich on Friday, remained pragmatic over the deal which has been four years in the making, by saying, “I don’t have any hope that it will happen this time but the door is open.”
Pro-EU protesters continued to hold a vigil outside the summit in the hopes of reviving the deal, but euronews correspondant Natalia Richardson-Vikulina in Vilnius reports:
“The chances of signing the EU-Ukraine agreement at this summit are almost zero. But the Ukrainian question remains the most important one at this meeting. European leaders underline that they will still support the European integration of Ukraine.”