Riga hosts the 4th European Union Eastern Partnership Summit, with Ukraine and Georgia anticipating visa-free travel to Schengen states from the meeting and Belarus making overtures for similar concessions.
In the months following Russia's assault on Ukraine, Belarus has become increasingly interested in better trade and diplomatic relations with the European Union, but the country's authoritarian regime remains a barrier. The bloc has set terms for easing Belarus travel restrictions. They include freeing political prisoners and election reforms.
EU terms for Ukraine include the introduction of biometric passports for its citizens, and Ukraine and Georgia must undertake reforms that include judicial co-operation with the European Union.
Eastern Partnership Summits are held every two years with the aim of supporting reforms in Eastern European countries and promoting closer political association and economic integration with the European Union.
Date written/update: 2015-04-20