Stian Jenssen – Chief of Staff to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – suggests that a possible solution to the war in Ukraine is for the government of Volodymyr Zelenskyi to give up some of its territorial claims to Russia – in exchange for NATO membership.
According to Jenssen, this compromise could end the war, although he is clear that this is only one of several proposals. But he argues that it is up to Ukraine to decide the terms of peace and when to negotiate with Russia.
– I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory and get Nato membership in return, Jenssen said during a debate.
According to the NATO chief, discussions on Ukraine’s post-war status are already underway, with representatives of several countries reportedly asking whether Ukraine will cede territory to Russia.
These statements have not gone down well with the Ukrainian leadership, which has called them unacceptable, pointing out that Ukraine, like NATO, never negotiates over its territory.
Trading territory for a NATO umbrella? It is ridiculous. That means deliberately choosing the defeat of democracy, encouraging a global criminal, preserving the Russian regime, destroying international law, and passing the war on to other generations. After all, why should Russia…
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) August 15, 2023
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak calls the proposal “ridiculous” and says such a compromise would mean “choosing the defeat of democracy, encouraging a global criminal, preserving the Russian regime, destroying international law, and passing the war on to other generations”.
– Obviously, if Putin does not suffer a crushing defeat, the political regime in Russia does not change, and war criminals are not punished, the war will definitely return with Russia’s appetite for more, he goes on to say.
Although Ukraine has not yet received a formal invitation to join NATO, the G7 countries have agreed to provide the country with extensive security guarantees. Analysts say it is likely that Ukraine will be granted membership in the US-led military alliance sooner or later.
Territories annexed by Russia
In the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan revolution, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula (4), whose population is largely Russian-speaking. Crimea is also a militarily important region, where Russia has maintained its Black Sea fleet since Soviet times.
The Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk (6) and Luhansk (5) in Donbass, which declared independence in 2014, have also been incorporated since the start of the war in 2022, along with the regions of Kherson (8) and Zaporizhia (7), which connect Crimea and Donbass.