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NATO official suggests Ukraine cede territories, Foreign Ministry deems it unacceptable

NATO official suggests Ukraine cede territories, Foreign Ministry deems it unacceptable NATO flag (Getty Images)

Director of the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General, Stian Jenssen, said that Ukraine could join NATO in exchange for the territories seized by the Russian Federation, according to VG.

"I believe that one of the solutions could be Ukraine's relinquishment of its territories in exchange for NATO membership," said Jenssen.

He noted that discussions are currently underway about Ukraine's future status within the Alliance after the war, including options on Kyiv giving up its territory.

"I'm not saying it has to be exactly like that. But this could be a possible solution," he clarified.

However, he mentioned that Ukraine "should decide on its own when and under what conditions it wants to engage in negotiations."

Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacts

Meanwhile, the Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleg Nikolenko, stated that discussions about Ukraine's NATO membership in exchange for giving up parts of its territory are absolutely unacceptable.

"We've always acted under the assumption that neither the Alliance nor Ukraine engages in territorial trade. The conscious or unconscious involvement of NATO officials in shaping the narrative of Ukraine giving up its territories plays into Russia's hands," he wrote on Facebook.

Nikolenko emphasized that for Euro-Atlantic security, it's worth discussing ways to expedite Ukraine's victory and its full NATO membership.

"We are focused on further productive cooperation with the NATO Secretariat to achieve these goals," he added.

The Office of the President of Ukraine reacts

Advisor to the Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, believes that such statements are attempts to preserve the world order and establish a "bad peace." He noted that Russia would not refrain from passing the war on to future generations.

"It is evident that if Putin doesn't face a devastating defeat, the political regime in Russia won't change, and the war criminals won't be held accountable. War will inevitably return with Russia's increased appetite," he tweeted.

Podolyak believes that attempts to maintain the world order and establish a "bad peace" through Putin's triumph won't bring peace to the world but rather disgrace and war.

Ukraine's NATO membership and Summit in Vilnius

Despite expectations, Ukraine did not receive a direct invitation to NATO from its allies at the summit in Vilnius. As explained by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine will receive an invitation when "all allies agree and conditions are met." However, the declaration does not specify the conditions that must be fulfilled.

Prior to the summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the Alliance for its indecisiveness regarding Ukraine. He stated that it is "unprecedented and absurd" that there are no timeframes for either the invitation or Ukraine's membership.

However, Zelenskyy later acknowledged that Ukraine cannot become a NATO member as long as the war with Russia on its territory continues. U.S. President Joe Biden also does not see the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO until the war is over.