Among the many things conveniently forgotten in this recent Ukraine crisis, is that the EU was never going to accept Ukraine for membership. It’s too corrupt and disorganised with politicians who are down-right bad.
In 2004, the EU lumped Ukraine together with other equally unlikely EU members Syria, Jordan and Algeria as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In 2009 the Eastern Partnership narrowed this down to Ukraine being as likely a candidate for membership as Georgia and Armenia – ie no chance whatsoever.
All along, all the EU wanted was to extend its influence eastwards at no cost. Ukraine wants EU membership, to pay for all its debts but without the pain of cleaning up first. USA wants to oppose Russia, but won’t actually do anything. And as we were seeing a few weeks back, Ukraine wanted NATO to start World War Three by attacking Russia.
An excellent article by Leicester University international politics lecturer Tara McCormack nails the history of EU distaste for Ukraine here: