In order to become a full member of the European Union, Ukraine will have to work hard for 20 years, said Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
In an interview with European Truth, the politician stated that neither Ukraine, nor Georgia, nor Moldova still meet the requirements for membership in the European Union.
“The EU has many conditions. And frankly speaking, none of these countries is ready to fulfill the EU criteria. So, it will be 20 years, maybe, to work before you get there. All these countries have problems with independent justice systems. Therefore, you don’t qualify for European membership,” Kaljulaid said, adding that some “intermediate cooperation format” could help these states on the way to European integration.
The Estonian President also noted that the EU should have been somewhat more courageous in expanding its borders, in particular, the Union could offer Kyiv, Tbilisi and Chisinau either a new format of work for countries that have ambitions to join the EU, or full membership, however it will take “a lot of time”.
In addition, answering a question about joining NATO, Kaljulaid noted that Ukraine would not be able to become a full member of the Alliance until it regains control of all the occupied territories.
“Estonia is a strong proponent of MAP and for Ukraine to work closely with NATO, but we don’t know exactly when we will arrive at this end. We need to wait for some time for the history to turn,” she stressed.
She also expressed hope for a peaceful solution to the issue of de-occupation of Ukrainian territory.