It will take decades for Ukraine to be accepted into the European Union, France’s Emmanuel Macron has said.
In a speech to the EU’s parliament in Strasbourg, he instead suggested Ukraine could join a “parallel European community” while it awaited a decision.
This would allow non-EU members to join Europe’s security architecture in other ways, said President Macron.
His words came as fierce fighting continued in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia is trying to make gains.
A senior US defence official characterised the Russian advance as “single-digit kilometre kind of progress”. A Ukrainian leader in the Luhansk region said serious battles were taking place.