The following days were held in Kiev the largest demonstrations of the opposition parties in Kiev, the largest demonstrations since the Orange Revolution.   On 26 November 2013, the Ukrainian government acknowledged that Russia had asked it to delay the signing of the EU Association Agreement and that it wanted „better conditions for the EU agreement“.  „Once we reach a level that will be pleasing to us, if it corresponds to our interests, if we agree on normal conditions, we will talk about signing,“ President Yanukovych said in a televised interview.  On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an end to criticism of Ukraine`s decision to delay the Association Agreement and for the EU agreement to be bad for Russia`s security interests.  Putin was reacting to statements by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who said they were „strongly disapproved“ of Russia`s action.  On 26 November 2013, at a government meeting, Prime Minister Azarov said: „I confirm with all authority that the process of negotiating the Association Agreement is continuing and that the work of bringing our country closer to European standards does not stop for a single day.“  President Yanukovych was still present at the EU summit in Vilnius from 28 to 29 November, but the Association Agreement was not signed.    During this summit, the European Union and Ukraine signed an agreement on air services.  At the summit, President Yanukovych also stated that Ukraine still wanted to sign the Association Agreement, but that it needed significant financial assistance to compensate for Russia`s threat of reaction and proposed to open tripartite talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU. He also asked Brussels to help Ukraine relax the terms of a possible IMF loan.  The EU opposed the trilateral talks and asked Yanukovych to commit to signing the Association Agreement, which he refused.  After a summit, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that the EU would „not tolerate the veto of a third country“ in its negotiations on closer integration with Ukraine.  He also said: „We are on a long journey and we are helping Ukraine, like others, what we now call the `new Member States`.
But we need to put aside short-term political calculations.  On 21 November 2013, Verkhovna Rada failed with one of six requests to allow former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seek medical treatment abroad, which was an EU request to sign the Association Agreement.   In the same week, Tymoshenko had declared that she was ready to ask the EU to abandon the demand for her freedom if it meant that President Viktor Yanukovych would sign the Association Agreement.  On the same day, a decree of the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for the signing of the Association Agreement; Instead, it proposed the creation of a three-way trade commission between Ukraine, the European Union and Russia, which would resolve trade issues between the parties.  Prime Minister Mykola Azarov adopted the decree to „ensure Ukraine`s national security“ and taking into account the potential impact of trade with Russia (and other CIS countries)  if the agreement was signed at a summit in Vilnius on 28-29 November.    According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boyko, Ukraine will resume preparations for the agreement „if the decline in industrial production and our relations with the CIS countries are compensated by the European market, otherwise our country`s economy will suffer serious damage.“  Some EU diplomats were more sceptical about the reasons given.  Later, on 21 November 2013, Russian President Dmitry Peskov`s spokesman called the Ukrainian decree „a strictly internal and sovereign decision of the country, and we believe that we have no right to take a stand“ and said that