- Associated Press - Thursday, November 21, 2013

KIEV (AP) — The Ukrainian government says it’s suspending its preparations to sign a landmark association agreement with the European Union.

Instead, the government said in a statement posted on its website Thursday that it was setting up a joint commission to work on boosting ties between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union.

The move follows the parliament’s refusal earlier today to pass a bill allowing the release of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a key EU condition for signing the deal. It also dealt a harsh blow to Ukraine‘s hope to integrate with the 28-member bloc and move out of Russia’s shadow.