The possible deal, while representing only a beginning phase of European integration for
Ukraine, is a watershed opportunity for the country to free itself once and for all
from the former Soviet yoke.
The deal should have been signed much earlier in President Viktor Yanukovych’s tenure, but
the high-profile prosecutions of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her ally
Yuriy Lutsenko provided a justification for already-reluctant members of the EU, led
primarily by Germany, to back away.
EU diplomats are now billing the Vilnius summit as a “last-chance,” and there are good reasons to believe that if the signing is derailed, the deal will
be off the table for a number of years, if not forever.