Ukraine and the European Commission will soon assess the country's progress on aligning its legislation with that of the European Union and a framework for EU accession talks is expected in the spring, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says.
In his nightly video address, he reminded the country that EU leaders decided at a summit on Thursday to launch formal membership talks with Ukraine.
Ukraine faces uncertainty over the future of vital wartime foreign assistance, notably from the United States.
"In the coming days, with the European Commission, we will officially launch the process of assessing Ukrainian legislation for compliance with EU legislation - the screening process," Zelenskiy said.
"We are also preparing for the work on the negotiating framework for Ukraine," he said, adding, "We expect it in the spring".
The EU offered Ukraine candidate status four months after Russia'sFebruary 2022 invasion, prompting a rush by Ukrainian authorities to reform priority areas identified by the European Commission.
The commission reported last month that Ukraine had fulfilled four of its seven recommendations, including hiring anti-corruption officials, preparing the judiciary for a major overhaul and aligning media legislation with EU standards.
The commission said it would assess Ukraine's progress again in March, part of a long and complicated pathway to membership that the EU's ambassador to Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, has described as gruelling.