BELGRADE – It will take Ukraine at least 20 to 25 years to join the European Union and NATO, European Commission President Jean-Claude said March 3.

“Ukraine will definitely not be able to become a member of the EU in the next 20 to 25 years, and not of NATO either,” he said in a speech at The Hague.

While Juncker did not explain why Ukraine would have to wait so long, his speech was aimed at reassuring Dutch voters that this year’s free-trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU was not a first step toward quickly joining the EU.