NATO Secretary General Stian Jensen’s chief of staff said on Tuesday (15) that Ukraine may join NATO as a bargaining chip if it cedes territory to Russia. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs promptly rejected the proposal.
“I think the solution could be for Ukraine to give up territories and get NATO membership in exchange,” Jensen was quoted as saying by Norwegian portal Verdens Gang.
Stian Jensen emphasized that there are now significant advances on the issue of Ukraine’s future membership of the Western military bloc. At the same time, he noted that the granting of regions to Russia could become one of the possible forms of an agreement between the warring parties.
The head of the cabinet also added that the issue of transferring territories has already been raised in the organization. According to him, everyone is interested in ensuring that the military conflict in Eastern Europe is not repeated.
“I’m not saying it has to be this way. But it could be a possible solution (…) Russia is experiencing enormous military difficulties and it seems unrealistic that it will be able to capture new territories. Now it’s more about what Ukraine will be able to do.” recover”, stated Jensen.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called for Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO on September 30, 2022. but there was no decision on a deadline for a concrete invitation to the country.
In particular, during the summit, the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that this question about Ukraine’s possible entry into the organization will lose relevance if Kiev does not win the war with Russia.
Ukraine rejects suggestion
Commenting on the statement by the head of the NATO secretary general’s office, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, rejected the statement, classifying the suggestion as “unacceptable”.
“Talk about Ukraine joining NATO in exchange for giving up part of the Ukrainian territories is absolutely unacceptable. We have always proceeded from the fact that the alliance, like Ukraine, does not trade territories,” Nikolenko wrote in a Facebook post.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the “conscious or unconscious” participation of NATO officials in shaping such a narrative “plays into Russia’s hands”.
“It is in the interest of Euro-Atlantic security to discuss ways to hasten Ukraine’s victory and full membership of NATO. We are committed to deepening fruitful cooperation with the NATO Secretariat to achieve these goals,” he added.
The adviser to the chief of staff of the President of Ukraine, Mikhail Podolyak, declared that Stian Jenssen’s words “clearly fit into the logic of the ‘freeze’ scenario of the conflict so desired by Russia”.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho