Ukraine hopes for progress on path to EU at Kiev summit

Ukraine will hold a summit with the European Union in Kiev this week, the government announced on Dec. 31, as it expressed hope the conference would bring the war-battered nation closer to membership of the bloc almost a year after Russia launched its invasion.

Kiev also announced it expected to receive up to 140 modern battle tanks from its Western allies, and the prospect of more advanced weapons for Ukraine came from the United States.

In his evening address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he hoped the Friday summit would reflect a high "level of cooperation and progress" with the 27-member bloc, which Kiev has long sought to join.

"We are waiting for news for Ukraine," Zelensky said.

The fact the summit is being held in the Ukrainian capital sends "a powerful signal to both partners and enemies", Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.

"It is a message that Europe believes in Ukraine's victory and supports our rapid movement towards EU membership," he said.

Ukraine gained EU candidate status in June last year, several months after Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops rolling across the border.

No details were provided on who would attend the summit from the European Union side.


 Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said a dozen countries had promised more than 100 tanks after Germany and the US signed off on the deliveries last week.

"These are Leopard 2, Challenger 2, M1 Abrams," he added, without specifying a timeline for the deliveries.

The decision to supply the weapons came after weeks of diplomatic wrangling and was seen as a breakthrough in the West's backing for Ukraine in its fight to win back territory from Russian forces.

Now Zelensky is urging the...

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