The failure to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in autumn 2013 has been investigated. The role of the Russian factor, which became decisive in the foreign policy reversal of the Yanukovych regime, has been revealed. The importance of Viktor Yanukovych’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 27, 2013, in the dramatic change of Ukraine’s international vector has been emphasized. On the basis of diplomats’ memoirs, the assumption about intimidation of the Ukrainian President by the Russian side has been substantiated. The timeline of the preparation of the 2013 Vilnius Summit, the position of EU structures and the attempts of the fourth President of Ukraine to win time to trade with the Russians have been reproduced. The thesis about the Donetsk clan’s attempts to prepare public opinion for a 180 degree turn in late October — early November 2013 has been presented. For this purpose, demonstration meetings were organized with representatives of Ukrainian business and trade unions, who called for revision of plans for European integration on their own initiative. The main role in manipulating public opinion rested on the government of Mykola Azarov and the Verkhovna Rada, which had a majority coalition led by the Party of Regions. Instead, Viktor Yanukovych continued his European integration rhetoric and reiterated to Western partners his own willingness to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. On November 21, the real position of the ruling elite was made available to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. According to it, the process of preparation for the signing of the Association Agreement was suspended, the proposal was made for the trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia negotiations, and the ministries were tasked with developing measures to maintain economic ties with the CIS countries. The decision was rejected by European partners and led to Yanukovych’s attempts to find other ways to thwart the signing of the Agreement. It has been proved that this role was played by Yanukovych’s requirements for financial assistance from the EU amounting to about 160 billion euros, which aimed to prevent the signing of the Association Agreement.
Source: Denysenko V. I. (2019). The failure to sign the Ukraine-EU association agreement (october-november 2013). Ancient Sumy Land. №LV: 30-45