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You're reading: Yanukovych’s game with Ukraine and Europe

On Dec. 19, the 15th European Union-Ukraine Summit officially concluded negotiations over Ukraine’s association agreement. Yet no deal was reached, as the EU refrained from actually initialing the document.

The event can hardly be called a summit in the full sense of the word. It was more a meeting that took place behind closed doors among the three presidents — Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine, Jose Manuel Barroso of the EU Commission, and Herman van Rompuy of the European Council — and attended by two interpreters. The face-to-face discussion took four hours, but details of the conversation were not made public.

On the positive side, it was the first time the EU leaders held separate meetings with leaders of the democratic opposition, including myself, and with representatives of the Ukrainian civil society. Doing so, the EU showed that it is ready to engage not only with the Ukrainian government but also with those who are not in power. This dual-track diplomacy should be maintained in the future.

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