NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg softened this Thursday (17) the statements of his chief of staff, Stian Jensen, who suggested last Tuesday (15) that Ukraine could join NATO as a bargaining chip ceding territories to Russia. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs promptly rejected the proposal.
According to him, there are no plans to use NATO membership as a bargaining chip for a possible negotiation of ceding territories to Russia.
“It is up to Ukrainians and only Ukrainians to determine when the conditions for negotiations will be met, and it is up to them to decide at the negotiating table, if any, which choice is acceptable,” he said.
According to Stoltenberg, “NATO policy remains unchanged”. He stressed that the organization should support Ukraine within internationally recognized borders, to support its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Jensen had said two days earlier that “that the solution may be for Ukraine to give up territories and obtain NATO membership in return”, during an event in Norway.
Stoltenberg, on the other hand, also stated that Ukraine will surely recover its lands, despite this process being slow. During a press conference in Norway, he assured that NATO will continue to support Ukraine until its victory.
He said there is broad agreement on this between the two parties in the US Congress. At the same time, he acknowledged that, within NATO, discussions on how to end the war and achieve peace in the region continue.
NATO’s Secretary General also touched on the issue of nuclear weapons. According to him, the western military alliance does not observe any changes in Russia’s nuclear forces and, therefore, the entity sees no reason to review its own facilities in this area.
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.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho