The chances of Ukraine signing a trade pact with Brussels next week are over, according to EU envoy Aleksander Kwasniewski.
“The accord will not be signed in Vilnius,” Poland’s former president told his country’s PAP news agency in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
“Our mission is over,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a shame it has not ended in the signature of the accord.”
But Lithuania, the hosts of the European summit where that was supposed to take place, still have some faint hope of a U-turn by Kiev.
Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius said: “If It’s true what was said. If the position of the country is clear so what could be the other position, so that means no signature.
“If no signature now, nobody knows when it’s possible.”
But Steven Blockmans, a Brussels-based foreign policy expert, said the deal will only happen with a new government in place in Kiev.
“Yanukovych and his government have not shown themselves to be as committed to the Association Agreement and future closer relations with the EU, as they had said they would be,” said Blockmans of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
“And in that respect a more productive round in EU-Ukraine relations could be helped by a different government and a different president.”
The Eastern Partnership summit will be held in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius next Thursday and Friday.
But it looks as if an agreement with Ukraine won’t be happening.