In March 2007, negotiations began on a new expanded agreement to replace the previous PARTNERSHIP and cooperation agreement between the EU and Ukraine under the EU-Ukraine Action Plan. The European Coal and Steel Community was established in 1952 from six Western European countries. This would lead to the European Union in 1992, as the central powers would increase and the number of members would reach 28 in 2013. The Union has a common market and in particular has the competence to conclude trade agreements. The Union has only the competence conferred on it by its Member States and, therefore, when a treaty covers areas in which it is not competent, the Member States become parties to the Treaty next to the Union. On 21 November 2013, verkhovna Rada failed on one of six requests to give medical treatment to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko abroad, which was a request from the EU 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 position“ and said that Russia was ready to conduct tripartite negotiations with Ukraine and the EU on trade and economic issues.  The European Parliament`s monitoring mission in Ukraine stated (also on 21 November 2013) that it was still possible to sign the association agreement ENTRE the EU and Ukraine.  On the same day, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said: „There is no alternative to reforms in Ukraine and an alternative to European integration… We are going down that road and we are not changing directions.  [b] PROTOCOLE III – on a framework agreement between the European Union and Ukraine establishing the general principles of Ukraine`s participation in trade union programmes The Association Agreement is a policy document: it is the first agreement based on the political association between the EU and one of the countries of the Eastern Partnership; it is unprecedented in its breadth (number of areas covered) and its profound scope (details of commitments and deadlines)