Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov said here Monday that his country aims to sign historic political and trade deals with the European Union (EU) by the end of the current year. "We will do our best to sign the agreements this year," Arbuzov told reporters during a press briefing. Negotiations between Kiev and Brussels over the partnership deals are underway, said Arbuzov, who failed to give further details. The Ukrainian government, which was expected to sign an association agreement and a free trade pact with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on Nov. 28-29, suddenly announced to suspend preparations for the historic political and trade agreement with the 28-member bloc just a week before the long-anticipated summit in Vilnius, citing the interests of " national security." It made the decision in favor of closer trade ties with Russia instead. The announcement has triggered waves of protests in major Ukrainian cities.