EU still hopes, but not really believes in signing of Association Agreement with Ukraine
Brussels has again said that it is still possible to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit, but has made it clear that they do not expect the position of the Ukrainian leadership to change.
"Now, it is up to our Ukrainian counterparts - for our part, the opportunity for the signing remains open," a senior European diplomat told Interfax-Ukraine in Brussels on Tuesday, speaking about the prospects for the signing of the Association Agreement with Ukraine at the summit in Vilnius.
"But most likely the decision about the pause will not change before the end of the week," the diplomat said.
He confirmed that in the EU everybody had hoped that the signing of the association agreement would take place in Vilnius.
"I cannot say that we expected this [decision to suspend preparations for the signing of the agreement] to be made. We had every reason to believe that the signing would take place. Were we utterly surprised? No. Because we knew that such a discussion was being held. Yes, we are disappointed because a lot of effort was put into this, and we thought that the conditions had been virtually fulfilled. We were quite hopeful that everything would take place."
At the same time, the diplomat said that the Vilnius summit was not a point of no return and Ukraine could sign "this piece of paper" at any other time. It is important to understand what additional information, clarifications, and guarantees Ukraine needs, and under what conditions they will remove their finger from the "pause" button and will press "play," the diplomat said.