EU Not Planning Ukraine Membership

MOSCOW, Russia -- The EU neighbourhood policy provides for a special form of partnership with Ukraine, but not its membership, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood, said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Friday.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner

She explained that the above-mentioned policy was giving numerous advantages to their neighbours, but it does not make them decide in advance whether or not those countries will ever join EU.

Commenting on a possibility of EU expansion, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner reminded that Croatia and Turkey were candidate countries, and the negotiations on their joining EU are going on with both of them.

According to Ms. Ferrero-Waldner, progress of each of the countries in that process depends on their accomplishments. If Croatia continues to resolutely implement reforms, it might perhaps be ready to join EU by the end of the decade. Turkey’s joining of EU will be a long and difficult process, which might take dozens of years.

Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic, is another candidate country, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner continued. Serbia, the same as other West Balkan countries, faces the prospect of joining EU, when it meets all its criteria. The next step for Serbia would be the talks on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

According to Ms. Ferrero-Waldner, EU is doing all it can for inducing Serbia to meet the conditions, needed for the resumption of their work on the problem.

Ms. Ferrero-Waldner is one of the three top-ranking EU officials (EU Three), who will have a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov on February 5.

Source: Itar-Tass