The European Union failed to agree Monday on whether to call a political boycott of the Ukraine half of the Euro 2012 football championships as Kiev demanded Brussels listen to its point of view.
"We are not at a stage to make a decision on attendance but will follow developments carefully," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton after what one EU source described as "long and heated" talks between the bloc's 27 foreign ministers.
"I will listen to news the prime minister will bring tomorrow," she added, referring to diplomatically sensitive talks Tuesday between Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and EU officials.
With anger running high across Europe over the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed opposition leader and former premier, neither EU president Herman Van Rompuy nor European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso are expected to meet Azarov.
Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October on charges of abuse of power while in office, after a trial that was bitterly criticised by the West as appearing politically motivated.
Ukraine had hoped to make the Euro the perfect shop window for the country, but despite prodding from co-host Poland, Barroso and Van Rompuy have both said they will snub the Ukraine half of the June event.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others have threatened to do the same.
But amid fears of Ukraine turning east to Russia, the mood was cautious in Brussels though Ashton denied divisions and said there had been agreement about "not taking decisions before you need to."
Meanwhile President Viktor Yanukovych warned that "it's very important that we not be humiliated."
"We will not allow this to happen. We are doing everything so that such situations are not repeated."
Asked at a news conference exactly what the EU expected of Ukraine before pressing ahead with talks to sign a partnership deal, Ashton said, "That justice is done and is seen to be done."
The EU wanted to connect through an association deal, she said, "but we cannot move forward if Ukraine doesn't move forward."
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Ukraine elections later this year would show Europe whether Kiev wanted to follow co-host Poland in moving toward Western values, or whether it wanted to look to Belarus, a nation led by an authoritarian regime under EU sanctions.
"I fail to see that attendance or non-attendance at football games is the main instrument of European policy," he said.
"If they want to go the European road there are enormous benefits to the society of Ukraine," Bildt said. "If they want to take the country to Belarus, well, they will go to Belarus."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he personally did not plan to attend the Euro but that London was keeping the attendance of ministers "under review."
Dutch counterpart Uri Rosenthal -- whose national team reached the final of the World Cup two years ago -- maintained: "I'm not talking about a boycott.
"I'm just talking about the Ukraine government, which has still time to do what is needed -- that is, to show a visible improvement" in Tymoshenko's well-being, he said.