Ukraine: towards closer ties with Europe 

What does the future hold for Ukraine? ©BELGAIMAGE/AFP/B.KILIC 

Bordering Russia and the EU, Ukraine has wavered for a long time between closer ties with the east or the west. With the free trade component of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement entering into force on 1 January 2016, the country took a significant step on its long road to European integration. However two years after the Euromaidan revolution, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the country's 45 million people still face an uncertain future.

Following the historic, simultaneous ratification of the association agreement in Kiev and Strasbourg on 16 September 2014, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said: “The European Parliament has always defended the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and will continue to do so."

A year and a half later, the country is still faced with significant economic problems as well as a deeply divided society.

Check out our top story to find out more about EU relations with Ukraine.