The EU has already lost a series of court cases involving Iranian and Syrian people and companies who successfully challenged sanctions against them.
Fourteen of the 22, including the former president and his sons, have already filed a challenge to the sanctions in the EU's top courts, a European Court of Justice Official said.
According to diplomats and officials, there are legal concerns about more than two-thirds of 22 people currently targeted over misappropriation of state funds. The EU is likely to drop its asset freeze on three Ukrainians who were sanctioned this spring because the cases against them in Ukraine have run out of steam, the diplomats said. The EU's lawyers have also raised concerns about the asset freeze imposed on another 13 people who may not have been correctly informed by Ukrainian authorities about the cases against them.
The names of the three people set to be dropped from the list weren't disclosed. But two people involved in discussions said they don't include Mr. Yanukovych and his sons.
Officials familiar with the case acknowledge the EU asset freezes were put together quickly at a time when there was great political pressure on the EU to respond to the events in Ukraine. They insist that the EU did seek to check the information provided by Kyiv but say it wasn't possible to verify all the reasons given for the investigations.