A squabble among EU countries over whether to grant Ukraine’s vast farming sector another year of emergency, no-strings-attached access to their markets could well be a taste of what’s to come when negotiations on admitting the bloc’s 28th member get down to serious business.

Leaders are trying to keep Ukraine’s accession talks on the down-low until after the European election in June. Yet the EU is still struggling in the meantime to deal constructively — let alone in good faith — with a country of 44 million people that its politicians and bureaucrats are still getting to know and show little apparent interest in understanding.

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