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Expert: Ukraine not to become EU member in foreseeable future if ever

May 25, 2015, 21:55 UTC+3 KIEV
The Eastern Partnership summit’s final document does not contain any promises to cancel visas for Ukraine and Georgia and says nothing about their possible membership of the European Union
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© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Grabar

KIEV, May 25 /TASS/. Last week’s Eastern Partnership summit in Riga made it clear that the European Union was not going to grant EU membership to Ukraine in the foreseeable future. Ukraine may not become an EU member at all, Kost Bondarenko, director of the Ukrainian Policy Foundation, told a news conference on Monday.

"After the summit Ukraine realized that it would not become an EU member in the foreseeable future and may not join the EU at all," Bondarenko said adding that the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker had said that Ukraine was still not ready for the European Union.

Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management, said that the EU expansion policy had reached its limit. The European Union made it clear that further European integration of the Eastern Partnership states would not go farther than association agreements.

Another Ukrainian expert on international policy, Oleg Voloshin, said that the Ukrainian leadership had made a mistake by focusing entirely on European integration. "The European integration is the right direction of development for Ukraine but they should not have constrained it to any timeframe and adjusted the country’s internal policy to this goal," Voloshin, the former chief of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry information department, said.

Kost Bondarenko agreed with Voloshin noting that European integration had been turned into a new religion in Ukraine and into a theme that could not be subject to criticism.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said at the EU summit in Riga last week that the EU should get convinced that each of the Eastern Partnership countries had a European perspective. "As for now, neither we nor them are ready for it," Juncker stressed.

The Eastern Partnership summit took place in Riga, the capital of Latvia, on May 21-22. It was attended by the leaders of 28 EU countries, six Eastern Partnership states and the leaders of the Brussels-based EU institutions. The summit’s final document does not contain any promises to cancel visas for Ukraine and Georgia and says nothing about their possible membership of the European Union. It does not say anything about sanctions against Russia. At the same time, the Riga summit confirmed that a free trade zone with Ukraine would start functioning on January 1, 2016.

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