The estrangement between the Russians and the Europeans is growing with Moscow and the West more inimical toward each other today than during the final phase of the Cold War.
It's a reality that many in Europe have long sought to ignore.
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Merkel did say at the summit that, "The EU and Germany have to talk to Russia.
The Cold War is over." But the insight came too late. 25, 2010 Viktor Yanukovych was sworn in as president of Ukraine on Feb.
But no one at the time was fully aware of the consequences the failure would have: that it would lead to one of the world's biggest crises since the end of the Cold War; that it would result in the redrawing of European borders; and that it would bring the Continent to the brink of war. For Ukraine, the failure in Vilnius resulted in disaster.
But the impact of that fateful evening in Vilnius goes far beyond Ukraine's borders.
Some 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and almost 70 years after the end of World War II, Europe is once again divided.
With the special role it plays and the special responsibility it has for Europe, the meltdown also represented a failure for Germany.
Foreign policy has long been considered one of Chancellor Angela Merkel's greatest strengths, but even she ignored the warning signs.