>> A country in limbo, Ukraine facing an unending conflict at home, and faltering progress in its bid for closer ties to the European Union. Its president, Petro Poroshenko meeting with EU leaders to improve relations in Brussels. Receiving praise from the block, but as Reuters Brussels Bureau Chief, Allister McDonald explains, not quite what they were looking for.
>> For Poroshenko, he's also looking to bolster the support that he gets from Europe in terms of cash and political and diplomatic support against Russia in his confrontation over Crimea and eastern Ukraine. He was given assurances that the Europeans do plan to renew their economic sanctions against Russia before indeed EU leaders meet here in less than a month in December.
And so, he came away with words, commitments, promises, but not a great deal that's very concrete at this stage.>> High on Ukraine's wishlist, is the lifting of visa restrictions for its citizens in Europe. Yet there's hesitation from the continent's heavyweights, France and Germany. There's also the Netherlands, where voters recently pushed back on Ukraine membership in a national referendum.
>> It's something which the Europeans have been somewhat reluctant to grant, having once been rather enthusiastic about it. That's partly because there are a number of elections coming up, notably in France and Germany next year. At which Euro skeptic, anti-European parties are posing a real threat to the elected governments.
And they're a little bit worried to be seen, to be as it were in the words of the Euro skeptics, opening the floodgates to 45 million relatively poor neighbors from Ukraine.>> A show of public optimism, but tinged with uncertainty.