European foreign ministers will wait to see Russia’s reaction to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan before deciding whether to apply more sanctions.
At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the ministers expressed their backing for the plan, as European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton outlined.
“All the EU ministers supported the plan as a major opportunity for de-escalation of the situation and called on all sides to honour a cease fire and create the conditions to implement this plan,” she said. “We called in particular of course on Russia to support the plan and use its influence to ensure its implementation.”
Ukraine wants to become a member of the European Union “within a decade”, the country’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told euronews in an interview on Monday.
Klimkin said he thought Kyiv could join the bloc in the next ten years, but said the Ukrainian government had no intention of joining the NATO military alliance.
The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany was speaking in Luxembourg after holding talks with EU foreign ministers where he presented President Peroshenko’s 14-point peace plan to broker an end to the insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s long road to full EU membership begins on Friday when it will sign the final parts of a political and free trade deal that will boost the economic and political ties between Kyiv and Brussels.
James Franey, euronews
“Let me come back on the issue of potential EU and NATO membership. Could you just clear this up for me because it is not really clear. You see yourself as joining the European Union and NATO?”
Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister
“Our position is absolutely clear on that. Firstly it’s not a compromise that Ukraine should become a member of the European Union. Ukraine is a European country, Ukraine is a democratic country and our ambition, and it is our political consensus, but it’s also our clear consensus in our society that Ukraine should become a member of the European Union. But the possible NATO membership is not on our agenda because we don’t have such a consensus in Ukraine.”
“So when do you think you will become a full member of the European Union?”
“Why not in ten years? If you see the new member states like Poland, like other countries, the period for preparation for membership, including negotiations, was ten minus plus years. Indeed it’s not a sort of speculation, its a kind of ambition. And so we have to set up ambitious goals for ourselves. Otherwise the goals could look like a miracle of sorts. And we need to make Ukraine becoming part of the European project a reality and it is also my personal ambition.”