Macron Says Ukraine's Accession to EU May Take Decades

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EU flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that it could take years or even decades for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union unless the bloc lowers its accession standards.
"Even we if give the status of candidate country [to Ukraine] tomorrow, I hope we move forward towards accession rapidly, even if we're to do that we all know only too well that the process for accession would take several years. In truth, it will probably take several decades," Macron said at the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament.
The president went on to reiterate that this is the truth of the matter, "unless we decide to lower the standards for accession and rethink the unity of our Europe and also partially the principles that we hold."
Ukraine applied for the EU membership on 28 February, shortly after Russia launched its special military operation. Ukraine was followed by Georgia and Moldova, which decided to fast-track submission of their applications and similarly received the EU questionnaire in mid-April.
In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents Matti Maasikas, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, with the two-volume set of Ukraine's answers to the European Union questionnaire, the first step in his campaign to obtain accelerated EU membership, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, April 18, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.04.2022
EU Needs New Cooperation Model for Ukraine, Without Accession, Austrian Foreign Minister Says
During the EU delegation's visit to Kiev on 8 April, European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen handed Volodymyr Zelensky a questionnaire to begin Ukraine's accession process. She emphasized that this questionnaire would lay the groundwork for further discussion on the country's membership. Following that, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishyna said that Ukraine expects to acquire candidate status in June.
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