European Union leaders will attend a two-day summit in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine's ongoing efforts to join the EU. While Ukraine gained EU candidacy status in June 2020, some member states have indicated that Ukraine should not expect to join the EU anytime soon.
A draft statement seen by Politico suggests that the EU is likely to offer only vague assurances about moving the process forward.
Ukrainian officials have said that they will demand clarity and a timeframe for joining the EU.
EU leaders aim to bring Ukraine closer to the bloc through the summit in the war-shattered nation.
The European Union delegation will encourage Kyiv to continue taking the necessary steps to meet commission requirements for EU membership.
At the same time, there are indications that EU officials will pour cold water on Ukraine's hopes of quickly joining the bloc, with a few member states warning that Kyiv should not expect this to happen.
A draft statement seen by POLITICO makes no specific mention of the ambitious timeline Ukraine has set out, with the country's prime minister even citing his desire to join in two years.
Instead, the document suggests that the EU will decide on further steps once all requirements are met.
Some Ukrainian officials have nevertheless expressed optimism.
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna, said that the negotiations were "complicated" but expressed hopes that "we will move in the right direction.
" Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine would not be deterred and would "do everything to become a member of the EU in the future.
" Despite these hopes, a group of member states and the draft statement seen by POLITICO suggest that Ukraine's progress towards EU membership may be slower than initially hoped.