Juncker: Ukraine not likely to join EU, NATO for 20-25 years

4.03.2016 р., 14:25

"Ukraine will definitely not be able to become a member of the EU in the next 20 to 25 years, and not of NATO either," he said in a speech at The Hague. While Juncker did not explain why Ukraine would have to wait so long, his speech was aimed at reassuring Dutch voters that this year's free-trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU was not a first step toward quickly joining the European Union. The Netherlands are to take a referendum on the ratification the association agreement of Ukraine with the EU in early April. The Dutch parliament is one of the few remaining national parliaments of the 28-nation union yet to ratify the EU-Ukraine deal. Despite Juncker’s prediction, the EU has been paving the way for visa-free travel to the bloc for Ukrainian citizens while providing Kyiv with a generous 40 billion US dollars bailout along with the United States and the International Monetary Fund to help it maintain economic stability amid a war with Russia-backed separatists. NATO also sent a reassuring message to Ukraine last year by holding military exercises there in a show of force against Russia, which has repeatedly denounced the alliance's eastern expansion as a threat to its national security.

Juncker: Ukraine not likely to join EU, NATO for 20-25 years

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