Ukraine is set to become an official candidate for European Union (EU) membership, the first step to joining the 27-country bloc.
The European Union is an economic and political union between 27 European countries, which was created in the aftermath of the Second World War.
It operates a single European currency, the euro, which is used by more than 340 million people in 19 of the EU's 27 countries.
President Volodymyr Zelensky began the application for EU membership five days after Russia invaded his country in February 2022.
There would be financial benefits to joining the EU. But Ukraine's main motive is not economic, argues Dr Zach Paikin, from the Centre of European Policy Studies think tank in Brussels.
"EU membership would establish Ukraine firmly as an independent, sovereign European state," he says. "Not merely part of the Russian world."
Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have been official candidates for years, but their applications have stalled.