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EU Restates Desire To Sign Deal With Ukraine

EU President Herman Van Rompuy
The European Union has restated its desire to sign an association and free trade deal with Ukraine in Vilnius next month.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on October 25 that the bloc hopes to take "important, even historical steps” with Ukraine, “provided there is determined action and tangible progress” ahead of the Vilnius meeting November 28-29.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, also said “we expect that we will be able to sign with Ukraine.”

But the EU has set conditions for the rapprochement, including that Kyiv address the issue of political prisoners like opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 on charges of abuse of office widely seen as politically motivated.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa