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Stoltenberg: Best way to ensure ceasefire is Ukraine's membership in NATO

Stoltenberg: Best way to ensure ceasefire is Ukraine's membership in NATO Photo: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

The best way to ensure a ceasefire at the front is Ukraine's membership in NATO, stated NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Public Forum.

"When the fighting stops in Ukraine, we need to ensure that it's really the end," said Stoltenberg.

He recalled that Russia first annexed Crimea, and a few months later the Russian army moved to the east of Donbas.

"We said it was unacceptable," said NATO Secretary General.

According to him, at that time, the first Minsk Agreement on the definition of the ceasefire line was in effect.

"It was violated, and Russia pushed frontlines further to the West in Donbas in 2014, we had Minsk-2, and the Russians waited then for 7 years, and the other full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022," Stoltenberg said.

As a result, he said, everyone saw a pattern where Russia took "slices" of Ukraine.

"So, if there is now a new ceasefire, a new agreement, then we need 100% certain that it stops there, regardless where the line is. And therefore, I strongly believe that when the fighting stops, we need to ensure that Ukraine has the capabilities to deter future aggression from Russia," Stoltenberg emphasized.

He added that Ukraine needs security guarantees for a ceasefire at the front.

"And, of course, the best and strongest security guarantee will be Article 5. Therefore, I believe that way to ensure that it stops is actually NATO membership," said NATO Secretary General.

Proposals for a ceasefire

On July 2, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited Kyiv and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. There, he proposed that Ukraine cease fire before starting peace talks with Russia.

According to Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the Presidential Office, Hungary is not the first country to make such a proposal. According to him, Zelenskyy listened to Orbán, but in response, he outlined his position.

Later, Zelenskyy himself commented on Orbán's proposal. The President noted that Ukraine cannot trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease fire because he is a killer and aggressor.