The European Union has signed far-reaching trade agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The ceremony formalises relations between the West and the former Soviet Republics, despite Russian anger.
The refusal of Ukraine’s former leader, Viktor Yanukovitch, to put pen to paper on the deal led to protests and his eventual downfall.
That was not lost on current President Petro Poroshenko who said: “I will sign up to the association agreement with the pen which marked ‘EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Vilnius, 29 of November’. It didn’t happen then, but the pen is the same, demonstrating that historic events are unavoidable. The documents that we will sign today are not just political and economic. It is a symbol of faith and of unbreakable will. It is a tribute to people who gave their lives and health to make this moment happen.”
European Council President Herman van Rompuy said the EU stands by Ukraine more than ever and the deal will in no way harm Russian interests.
Moscow is not so sure, saying it will take measures if the pact has a negative effect on the Russian economy.