BRUSSELS, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - The EU is not ready for border enlargement, and is unlikely to offer membership for Ukraine, the Russian ambassador to the EU said Wednesday.
"As far as I can see, the EU is determined not to admit Ukraine to the union. The association agreement doesn't guarantee membership in the European Union. Turkey for example has been an associated member since 1962, but talks of its membership are far from being over," Vladimir Chizhov said.
"Let's think in practical terms - the EU is not currently ready for enlargement,"Chizhov said, highlighting the ongoing financial crisis and the need to implement economic reforms in Ukraine.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said last week that not only was Ukraine unprepared for membership, but the EU was also not ready to integrate the Eastern European country. For this reason the union offered the association agreement to Kiev.
Barroso also noted that the door for membership was not closed, but Ukraine would first have to undertake a number of reforms.
On February 22, Ukraine saw a change of power when protesters took control of parliament and impeached President Viktor Yanukovych. An early presidential election has been scheduled for May 25.
The Russian government has repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of Ukraine's new leadership, which was not democratically elected.