Ukraine's foreign minister said his country wants assurances at a summit with the European Union this week that it is a suitable candidate for EU membership and its citizens will gain visa-free travel to the bloc next year.
Officials from the EU and its member states meet six of the bloc's eastern neighbors, including Ukraine, in the Latvian capital Riga on Thursday and Friday, with a political solution to the conflict in Ukraine high on the agenda.The EU has already agreed a free-trade pact with Ukraine, to be implemented from next year.
"Now we want concrete assurances in Riga that Ukraine is eligible for future membership of the European Union, and has the chance to become an accession candidate in the future," Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told German daily Die Welt.
"We want to see light at the end of the tunnel," he said, adding that Ukraine also expected a commitment at the summit to visa-free travel to the EU from next year for its citizens.
Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia signed political and trade agreements with the EU last year and want to join the bloc.