No fast-track accession of Ukraine to the European Union is possible and the process will take a “very long” time, French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said on Sunday.
“We have to be honest. If we say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months, one year or two years, we are lying. It’s not true. It’s probably 15 or 20 years. It takes a very long time,” Beaune told Paris-based Radio J.
“I don’t want to offer Ukrainians any illusions or lies,” he added.
Beaune, described by Politico as President Emmanual Macron’s “trusted protege” was named on Friday as minister of European affairs in the government led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
He suggested that Ukraine should become part of the EU’s political life, reiterating an idea of creating a membership substitute for the country, voiced by Macron.
“In the meantime, we owe the Ukrainians … a political project which they can enter,” Beaune said.
Earlier this month, Macron admitted that Ukraine’s EU accession process could take “several decades.”“Even if we gave them candidate status tomorrow, we all know perfectly well that the process of allowing them to join would take several years, in truth doubtless several decades,” he told a European Parliament session in Strasbourg on May 9.