French minister: Ukraine needs ’15 or 20 years’ to join EU

French minister: Ukraine will need another 15 or 20 years to join the EU - Photo 1.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune – Photo: AFP

“We have to be honest. To say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months or a year or two would be a lie. It would take about 15 or 20 years, which is going to be a long time,” Mr Beaune said. .

According to news agency AFP, on May 22, Mr Beaune gave Radio J the above frank answer.

“I don’t want to give Ukrainians any illusions or lies,” Mr Beaune said.

The French minister also reiterated French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to create a broader “European political community” so that countries outside the EU, such as Ukraine, could share “core values” of Europe.”

On May 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy contradicted “such compromises” and reiterated the need to start the process of Ukraine’s full membership of the EU without delay.

In this regard, Mr Beaune said Mr Macron’s proposal was not “an alternative to joining the current European political community (ie the EU).

Under Mr Macron’s plan, Mr Beaune said Ukraine could “benefit from the European budget to rebuild and restore its country, society and economy”.

According to AFP, other EU leaders also showed little interest in welcoming Ukraine quickly.

Macron’s “European Political Community” initiative is to be debated at an EU summit at the end of June.

On April 17, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva said that Kyiv had filled out the necessary questionnaire for the EU to consider and decide on that country’s membership.

Becoming a member of the EU means a lot to Ukraine.

A provision in the EU treaty states that if a member becomes the subject of armed aggression, other EU states are obliged to lend a hand and assist.