Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is standing his ground on refusing to sign what would have been a historic trade deal with the European Union. At the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on Friday, E.U. nations had hoped that he might be swayed at the eleventh hour, but he resisted — despite the protests of thousands of pro-E.U. Ukrainians back home in Kiev.
The disappointment was palpable among the E.U. negotiators, some of whom openly pointed the finger of blame at Russia, which has been piling pressure on the former Soviet republic not to sign the association pact. “We may not give in to external pressure, not least from Russia,” said E.U. President Herman Van Rompuy.
Moscow wants to keep the neighboring state, which has rich mineral resources, in its own economic sphere of influence, and has been pushing Kiev to sign up to a Eurasian customs union instead. Russian President Vladimir…
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