'Ukraine paid high price to realise European dreams'

Ukraine paid the highest possible price to realise its "European dreams", the country's president has said, as he signed an agreement with the EU.

Petro Poroshenko poses with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Credit: Reuters

Former president Viktor Yanukovich's decision to turn down an EU agreement last November in favour of closer ties with Russia sparked widespread protests and eventually led to his overthrow.

Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine's Crimea region, and pro-Russian separatists declared independence in eastern Ukraine.

"Over the last months, Ukraine paid the highest possible price to make her European dreams come true," Petro Poroshenko told EU leaders at a signing ceremony in Brussels.

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