President Viktor Yanukovych (centre) has to persuade the European Union Ukraine is addressing democratic reform (photo: dpa)

Ukraine faces defining moment with Russia and Europe

Russia is firing warning shorts towards Ukraine - ahead of a landmark summit in November 2013 which could see the former Soviet state move ever closer to the European Union. Ukrainian big business sees greater prosperity in European markets. But should Ukraine sign key agreements with the EU, a punishing trade war could follow instigated by Russia, as Kiev resists entreaties by Moscow to join its Customs Union. A stumbling block to the deal is the EU’s insistence that Kiev opposition politician and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is freed from jail.

<i>At the Eastern Partnership summit meeting in Vilnius, on November 28-29, 2013, the EU will decide on whether to sign an A...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
If the EU says no to the agreement, it will mean a serious blow to the credibility of the Eastern Partnership programme and a boost for forces within Ukraine that favour an even more authoritarian stance
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