EU Won't Put Ukraine on Membership Fast Track

Amid worries over Russian ambition, Sarkozy acknowledges 'European destiny'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2008 3:30 PM CDT
Nicolas Sarkozy, right, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko shake hands after their summit between the European Union and Ukraine today in Paris.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ukraine’s president left a summit with European Union leaders today without a firm promise of EU membership, the Guardian reports. While French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered Victor Yushchenko an “association agreement” and affirmed Europe’s commitment to Ukraine’s territorial rights, dissent from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands prevented those in favor from acting further.

"This accord does not close any avenues," said Sarkozy, who was fresh off meetings with Russian officials, who said they had no designs on Ukraine. "It is the maximum that we could do.” Yushchenko hailed the decision as an essential “first step in long road” that had previously provided membership for other Eastern European states.