A miracle did not happen.
European Union leaders and Ukraine have, as expected, failed to sign an historic free-trade deal after a last-minute U-turn from Kiev.
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich still attended the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.
But under economic pressure from Moscow, he has revived trade talks with Russia and nothing the EU said could make him change his mind.
“We want to have a strong relationship with Ukraine, we believe particularly on economic issues,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
“It is, of course, for Ukraine to decide what it wishes to do and there have been some good and important discussions with President Yanukovich here. What I would say is that the European Union door is open.”
Georgia and Moldova have signed initial political association agreements but the focus had been on Ukraine’s association deal. Its decision not to sign was strongly criticised by the leader of summit host Lithuania, which holds the EU presidency.
“I think that the Ukrainian people are disappointed,” said Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. “It is not about Europe to be disappointed. I think today’s Ukrainian leadership is choosing the way which is going nowhere.”
As night fell and any chance of a deal evaporated, Ukrainian protesters outside the venue desperately called for a change of heart.
A few dozen held placards saying “Yanukovich, don’t steal the future” and “We are Europeans.”“Yanukovich sign” they cried.
Are you in Ukraine? Send us your thoughts, pictures and videos to witness[at]euronews.com
- 1The EU’s 27 leaders “unite” as they view the future minus the UK
- 2Russia reacts to the Brexit
- 3Black box confirms smoke on board doomed EgyptAir flight
- 4Nicola Sturgeon gets ‘sympathetic’ reception in Brussels over Brexit
- 5Turkey mourns as the first funeral takes place of a victim from the Istanbul airport attack
- 1Dozens are killed and wounded in multiple suicide bomb attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport
- 2Italian actor Bud Spencer dies at 86
- 3Suspected ISIL bombers kill 36 and wound dozens at Istanbul airport
- 4Terror in Turkey: attack at Ataturk airport leaves 41 dead and scores injured
- 5Feisty Farage tells MEPs ‘You’re not laughing now’
Wires > News
- 15:46 CET U.S. Joint Base Andrews on lockdown over active shooter report
- 15:32 CET Belize tanker with five Russians among crew detained off Libya
- 15:17 CET Istanbul airport bombers were Russian, Uzbek, Kyrgyz – Turkish…
- 15:12 CET U.S. downgrades Myanmar, raises Thailand in human trafficking…
- 15:08 CET Saudi Arabia to introduce hi-tech bracelets in haj safety push
- 14:12 CET Taliban suicide bombers kill 27 in attack on Afghan police cadets
- 14:09 CET Charges against Myanmar’s ‘Saffron Revolution’ leader pile up
- 13:54 CET Pakistan plans talks with Afghanistan, U.N. agency over refugees‘…