Ukraine's accession to EU may take decades: Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron calls on the EU to move forward toward Ukraine's rapid accession to the bloc.
At the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament, Macron said that "Even we if give the status of candidate country [to Ukraine] tomorrow, I hope we move forward towards accession rapidly."
"In truth, it will probably take several decades," he mentioned.
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 February 28, shortly after Russia launched its military operation. It was followed by Georgia and Moldova, which decided to fast-track submission of their applications and similarly received the EU questionnaire in mid-April.
During the EU delegation's visit to Kiev on April 8, European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen handed Volodymyr Zelensky a questionnaire to begin Ukraine's accession process.
Von der Leyen emphasized that this questionnaire would lay the groundwork for further discussion on the country's membership.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna, pointed out that Ukraine expects to acquire candidate status in June.