Oleksiy Plotnikov, one of PoR's top economics bods, thinks there is a "99% chance" that the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will be signed in late November in Vilnius.
The public utterings of many other Ukrainian officials on a positive outcome of the Vilnius summit have been similarly upbeat.
President Yanukovych in a TV interview promised just a few days ago that all of the conditions set by the EU will be met in good time, including the ending of politically motivated persecution of members of the opposition, which everyone knows means the release from prison of leader of the opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko, [most likely for medical treatment abroad].
But Yanukovych indicated that this is a matter for law-makers - he claimed he himself does not have the authority to resolve 'the Tymoshenko problem'. Yet in his address at today's opening of parliament, he made no mention of any solution.
[IMO the proceedings today all seemed 'wooden' and passionless.....Virtual politics in action? The only Ukrainian politician who can speak with real conviction and sound resolute is Tymoshenko...Maybe this is why she is in prison.]
Nevertheless there are reports from Germany that premises are already being prepared at the elite Charite clinic in Berlin where the former PM may be treated for her chronic spinal illness.
So, will there be what EU Ambassador Jan Tombiński called "a nice surprise" on the Tymoshenko issue?
Only one man, the president, can decide. Right now he has resolved to wait until the very last moment possible to make a decision.
The timetable is tight.
European Parliament monitoring mission members Cox and Kwasniewski have to present a report on the outcome of their mission, to the E.P. on 30th of September. [They have had their mandate extended twice already.]
On 21st October the EU takes a final decision on Ukraine. The Vilnius summit will take place on November 28-29 th. So, in a nutshell, Yanukovych has three weeks max. to decide how to solve the Tymoshenko problem. Also, apart from this, there is no guarantee other outstanding requirements, e.g. on voting laws etc. will be passed in the Verkhovna Rada either. Should have been sorted last month in parliament at specially-summoned sessions...but hey, exotic holidays are more important, right?