President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, answering a question about possible territorial concessions for the country’s membership in NATO, said that Ukraine was ready to exchange only the Russian city of Belgorod for the opportunity to join the North Atlantic Alliance.
The corresponding statement was made at a joint press conference between Zelensky and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the Skridstrup airbase.
A few hours earlier, Zelensky visited the Netherlands, where, answering journalists’ questions, he ruled out the possibility of “exchanging anything” for Ukrainian territories.
At the beginning of the week, the head of the NATO Secretary General’s office, Stian Jenssen, said that in order to achieve peace, Ukraine could give up part of the territories occupied by Russia, and in return for this, the country would get a real chance to join the North Atlantic Alliance.
The official’s statement caused a public outcry in Ukraine. Later, after criticism from representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, Jenssen called his words a “mistake”, explaining that they were uttered in the context of “a broad discussion about possible future scenarios.”
However, even without that, a number of Western politicians have recently spoken out about Ukraine’s inability to liberate the occupied territories by military means and about the inevitability of entering into negotiations with the Kremlin. Kyiv reacts negatively to such statements.
The Belgorod region of Russia, bordering Ukraine, and the city of Belgorod are regularly shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and fighters of the so-called Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion “Freedom of Russia”, fighting on the side of Ukraine, made several raids into the region, as a result of which Russian border guards were killed and captured military equipment. Residents of the Belgorod region have repeatedly appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to protect them and protect them from war. At the same time, the regional authorities are calling on local residents to evacuate to safer places, and temporary accommodation centers for migrants have been opened in Belgorod itself. Ukraine has not made any territorial claims against Russia and emphasizes that its goal is to restore its borders at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. According to these internationally recognized borders, Crimea and the four regions of Ukraine declared annexed by Russia are Ukrainian, while the Belgorod region belongs to Russia.