Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is set to meet top European Union leaders on Thursday (24 November) to make a stronger push for extending sanctions against Russia, amid concerns over US President-elect Donald Trump's admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Apart from Russia, the summit will focus on anti-corruption measures demanded by Brussels in exchange for visa-free travel from Ukraine.
Poroshenko is expected to meet senior EU officials Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker and press them to extend sanctions against Russia for its role in annexing Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"I think the focus must be on the situation in Donbass [rebel-held eastern Ukraine], on Russian aggression, on the extension of sanctions," AFP cited Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as saying, ahead of the summit.
"We have to force Russia to implement the Minsk agreement. For that we need our European friends and the representatives of the United States," he added. Klimkin referred to the 2015 Minsk accord that was meant to put an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Kremlin rebels. However, low-level fighting was reported to be continuing.
The summit comes at a time when Kiev is worried Trump's victory will weaken the US stand against Russia as the president-elect, during his election campaign, vowed to mend ties between Washington and Moscow.
Next month, the EU will also review its sanctions imposed on Russia after a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine in 2014.
Meanwhile, measures to tackle widespread corruption are expected to come up at Thursday's summit. Ukraine was in the centre of a corruption scandal in 2014 when its then-president Viktor Yanukovych was forced to resign.
Ukraine now has a new anti-corruption bureau and a new police force, along with a new electronic system in place for tendering government contracts and a scheme to track the wealth of public officials and political leaders, according to the BBC.
On 23 November, it appointed 23-year-old lawyer Anna Kalynchuk to spearhead the anti-corruption drive.