France plans Ukraine’s EU membership in “15 or 20 years”: minister

Ukraine’s membership of the European Union would not be finalized for “15 or 20 years”, the French minister for Europe said on Sunday, dismissing the hopes of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a rapid entry after the invasion of his country by Russia.

“You have to be honest. If you say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months, or a year or two, you are lying,” said Clément Beaune. Radio J. “It’s probably in 15 or 20 years, it takes a long time.”

“I don’t want to offer Ukrainians illusions or lies,” he said, reiterating an offer by President Emmanuel Macron to create a looser “European political community” that could help integrate Ukraine into the larger bloc. early.

This offer received a cold reception from Mr. Zelensky, who on Saturday denounced “such compromises” and insisted on an immediate start of the process towards full membership of the EU.

But Mr Beaune said Mr Macron’s proposal is not “an alternative to joining the European political community. It does not preclude joining later”.

Under Mr Macron’s plan, “there could be free movement in Europe, and she could benefit from the European budget for the reconstruction and recovery of her country, her society and her economy“, he said. -he declares.

Other EU leaders have also shown little appetite for a quick welcome from Ukraine, whose pro-Western aspirations are seen as a key reason Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion. of the country on February 24.

Mr. Macron’s “European Political Community” initiative will be debated at a European summit at the end of June.

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