UEFA will keep Russian and Ukrainian clubs apart when the draw for the Europa League semi-finals is made

Teams from the two countries have been kept apart in European competition this season in a bid to avoid stoking tensions due to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Dynamo Kiev and Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg remain in contention and all stand a realistic chance of reaching the last four.

Should all three sides reach the last four, Dnipro will play Dynamo while Zenit will play the winner of the tie between Napoli and Wolfsburg. Rafa Benitez’s Napoli hold a 4-1 advantage from the first leg in the one tie not involving a team from eitehr Russia or Ukraine.

Zenit trail Sevilla 2-1 from their first leg in Spain before Thursday’s return leg. Dynamo are tied 1-1 with Fiorentina after a first leg in Kiev, while Dnipro drewt 0-0 with Club Brugge in Belgium earlier this month.

European football’s governing body UEFA also confirmed a final between a Russian and Ukrainian club would go ahead as planned. The fixture will be held at the National Stadium in the Polish capital of Warsaw on 27 May. European football’s governing body has refused to comment on the prospect of a Russia-Ukraine final until after the semi-finals have been played.