Ukraine hopes to enter European Union by 2020

Global Business

On Thursday, Ukraine laid out a timetable for its plan to enter the European Union. While President Poroshenko expects to enter in the year 2020, the road to EU membership could be a long and bumpy one. CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo explains.

Ukraine hopes to enter European Union by 2020

Ukraine hopes to enter European Union by 2020

On Thursday, Ukraine laid out a timetable for its plan to enter the European Union. While President Poroshenko expects to enter in the year 2020, the road to EU membership could be a long and bumpy one. CCTV America's Rachelle Akuffo explains.

President Petro Poroshenko proclaimed reforms on Thursday spanning all aspects of life to make strife-torn Ukraine fit for European Union membership, warning his people that without reform they would face a future “alone with Russia.”

He also defended his plan to end a war with pro-Russian separatists that has killed more than 3,000 people and said he would meet again soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the pivotal player in a geopolitical tussle between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s future reminiscent of the old Cold War.

Poroshenko sought on Thursday to fix his people’s attention on joining the European mainstream despite fierce Russian opposition. He laid out an ambitious reform package to enable Ukraine to apply in 2020 for accession to the 28-member EU.Tackling corruption and energy dependence are the biggest concerns. In response to the announcement, Itar-Tass news agency reported that Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, “Ukraine should resolve all its problems with Moscow before moving to join the EU.”

Some analysts are skeptical about the EU’s motivation and question Ukraine’s timeline for membership, without effective political and economic reforms. Navigating Ukraine’s integration into the EU is delicate. When former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yanukovich abandoned an EU trade agreement in favor of closer ties with Russia last November, the move spiraled into violence and a political fallout resulting in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold war.

Trade agreements between Ukraine and the EU have already been postponed amid fears the move would further damage Russia’s currency. Russia’s Central Bank has raised rates three times this year to help the falling Ruble, but it believes the country can withstand the headwinds.As sanctions on Russia from the West and other nations continue to take their toll, the road to Ukraine’s EU membership could be paved with political potholes.