French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion of a "political European community," pitched in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday, as an alternative to Ukraine joining the EU shouldn't satisfy either Kyiv or Estonia, said Estonian Foreign Policy Institute director Kristi Raik.
"I don't believe that this could be satisfactory for Ukraine, and it shouldn't be a satisfactory solution from the Estonian perspective either, for example," Raik said in an interview with Johannes Tralla on ETV's "Välisilm" on Monday night.
She believes that enlargement policy in the EU needs to be thoroughly reconsidered, which will likely involve heated disputes.
"Today we got a taste of the direction France is moving in with its positions: they may not outright say 'no' to granting candidate country status, but if we add to that what Macron said today, that it may take decades for Ukraine to become a member and let's establish some new kind of entity altogether, a confederation, a new political community offering an alternative solution, then I don't believe that this would be satisfactory for Ukraine, and it shouldn't be a satisfactory solution from the Estonian perspective either," the director said.
Raik did acknowledge that it may take years for Ukraine to become a full member of the EU.
"But one conclusion we need to be drawing right now based on Europe's geopolitical and security policy changes is that the EU must now clearly promise to Ukraine that it will become a member of the EU, and that the EU will do everything in its power to help Ukraine toward this," she explained.
She recommended some kind of intermediate steps be devised to integrate Ukraine step by step until full accession to the EU is possible.
"But not that we come up with some kind of alternative structure and say that this is the solution," she stressed.
The EU is expected to decide by the end of June whether to grant Ukraine candidate country status.
Editor: Aili Vahtla