Ukraine Will Take Ten Years To Join EU: Foreign Minister

LISBON, Portugal -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk said that he expects his country will become a member of the European Union in 10 years time, despite questions about the bloc's future.

Boris Tarasyuk

"Ukraine is a European country whose western part is geographically the centre of Europe, so it would be legitimate for us to become members of the EU in the future," he told the Lusa news agency during a visit to Portugal.

"When it comes to our prospects, given the experience of our neighbors, like Poland or Hungary, it will probably take us 10 years," he added.

The rejection of the EU constitution, which was voted down in French and Dutch referendums, meant the bloc was not yet ready to start entry talks with the former Soviet republic, Tarasyuk said.

"Our objective is to join the EU in the future but the EU is not ready to give a positive response to the Ukraine," he said.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has pressed for EU accession talks to start in 2008 but last month Barroso said the country of some 47 million people had not made enough reforms to make it a contender for membership.

Source: AFP