NATO Chief of Staff, Stian Jenssen, suggested on Tuesday that Ukraine may gain membership in the alliance in exchange for ceding some territory to Russia, which may be part of the end of the war.
“I think a possible solution for Ukraine could be to give up the territory in exchange for NATO membership,” Jenssen said according to Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.
However, he stressed that Ukraine “should decide when and under what conditions it wants to negotiate.”
Asked whether it is NATO’s view that Ukraine must cede land in order to achieve peace with Russia and obtain future membership in NATO, he said that the discussion about the possible status after the war is already underway, and that questions about ceding territory to Russia is raised by others.
“I’m not saying it has to be exactly like that. But it can be a probable solution.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly stressed that Ukraine was not willing to give up any territory to Russia in exchange for ending the war. He has said: “We will liberate our territory with military, diplomatic and all other available means until we reach the legal borders of Ukraine.”
He also said: “Ukrainians will never give up their independence. And they will not break from the inside as has happened more than once. Not this time!”
Zelenskyy has stressed: “We will not give up anything. And we will fight for every meter of our land, for every our person.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said in June that allies must continue to increase the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine as it fights to regain territory from Russian occupying forces.