In May 2012 the 18th summit of Central European leaders in Yalta was cancelled – to be rescheduled for a future date – after 13 of 20 invited leaders planned to boycott it. The 17th summit held in Warsaw in May 2011 had been attended by twenty heads of state and US President Barrack Obama.
Poland’s leaders opposed the boycott although the opposition supported it (https://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/127101/; https://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/126986/). Warsaw was unable to encourage other Central European countries to attend except for Lithuania. Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Moldova and Serbia also planned to attend, making a total of only seven countries.
Thirteen other countries boycotted the summit planned for the Livadia Palace in Yalta where three allied leaders met in 1945 to carve up post-Nazi Europe. Of the thirteen, the country now leading the rhetoric in Europe against the Yanukovych regime is Germany (see below). The remaining twelve included Austria, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic (which has granted two Ukrainian oppositionists asylum, including Tymoshenko’s husband Oleksandr).
The cancellation of the Central European leaders summit is the biggest diplomatic embarrassment for Ukraine since Kuchma’s snub at the 2002 NATO summit. A similar European boycott is crystallizing around the Euro 2012 soccer championship co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, which is set to begin next month. A growing number of European and EU leaders have stated their intention to only attend soccer games played in Poland and to boycott games played in Kyiv, Donetsk and especially Kharkiv, the city where opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is incarcerated.