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Live Blog: Eastern Partnership Summit In Vilnius

The six Eastern Partnership countries are meeting for a Summit in Vilnius. On the eve of the summit, Georgia and Moldova initialed Association Agreements with the European Union, but no other countries are expected to follow suit.


Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Viktor Yanukovych at a meeting in Vilnius.
12:28 29.11.2013
Press conferences starting. Live feed here.
12:14 29.11.2013
Latvian Foreign Minister:

12:10 29.11.2013
Here's a perspective from a Euro-skeptic -- Anton Finko, political expert at the Kyiv Center for Political Studies and Conflicts, speaking today in Kyiv on the RFE/RL Ukrainian Service's live program.

"I am one of Euro-skeptics who think that if the Association Agreement would have been signed in its present form it wouldn't be the slightest occasion to celebrate," he said.

"First, in the process of the Eastern Partnership and according to this document, Ukraine would receive no European perspective in a way that was open to Bulgaria, Romania, Poland or Lithuania, for example. Second, a question of opening the EU labor market for Ukraine so that our people could go there was not resolved. A question of visa liberalization was not dealt with. Fourth, a question of financial aid was not resolved."

"Finally, if the Association [Agreement] were to be signed --and most importantly -- in its present form, it would have caused a trade and economic war with Russia that would result in big and significant losses for the Ukrainian economy."
12:00 29.11.2013
Yanukovych's office has released a statement expressing Kyiv's intentions to sign agreement with EU "in the nearest future."

"The president stressed that it is necessary today for Ukraine -- in connection with the new trade and economic circumstances -- to not only prepare for the timely implementation of the Association Agreement," the statement said. "But also to minimize the negative effects of the initial periods, which, without a doubt, will be felt by the most vulnerable Ukrainians."
11:52 29.11.2013
11:29 29.11.2013
From our correspondent in Vilnius, Rikard Jozwiak. A passage from the final Vilnius resolution:

"The participants of the Vilnius summit take note of the decision by the Ukrainian government to suspend temporarily the process of preparations for signature of the association agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free trade area between the EU and Ukraine. They also take note of the unprecedented public support for Ukraine's political association and economic integration with the EU. The EU and Ukraine reiterate their commitment to the signing of this agreement on the basis of determined action and tangible progress in the three areas [judicial reform, electoral reform, selective justice] emphasized at the 2013 EU-Ukraine summit."
11:15 29.11.2013
The head of the Wold Taekwondo Federation in South Korea recently awarded a ninth-degree black belt (ninth-dan) to Russian President Vladimir Putin -- placing him one step above Chuck Norris, the well-known actor and martial artist. The meme below plays off Yanukovych's struggle between political and economic unrest at home (mass pro-EU protests are ongoing in Kyiv's Maidan Square) on the one hand, and threats from Moscow over closer EU ties, on the other.

11:09 29.11.2013
Rompuy avoids mentioning Ukraine in both speech and tweets.

10:43 29.11.2013
Meanwhile, in Kyiv.

10:17 29.11.2013
Pat Cox, who is the European Union's envoy to Ukraine, said in an interview with "The Irish Times" that he was taken aback by Ukraine's reversal.

"They did not mention the possibility of suspending the signature of the EU association agreement until our final meetings last week," he said. "It's strategically hard to understand, but indicative of how politics are done in Ukraine."

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