Kyiv has categorically refused to discuss the idea of possible territorial concessions to Russia in exchange for NATO membership. This proposal was voiced earlier by the chief of staff of the NATO secretary-general’s office, Stian Jenssen.
“Talks about Ukraine joining NATO in exchange for giving up some Ukrainian territories are absolutely unacceptable. Always proceeded from the fact that the Alliance, as well as Ukraine, territories do not trade, – wrote in Facebook Foreign Ministry speaker Oleh Nikolenko.
An adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, Mykhaylo Podolyak, also expressed bewilderment over the idea of “trading territory for a NATO umbrella”, considering it unacceptable and potentially dangerous for democratic values.
“Conscious or unconscious participation of NATO officials in forming a narrative about the possibility of Ukraine giving up its territories plays into Russia’s hands. On the contrary, it is in the interest of Euro-Atlantic security to discuss ways to accelerate Ukraine’s victory and its acquisition of full NATO membership”, he added.
NATO’s official position was confirmed in a comment to European Pravda by a representative of the alliance, who emphasized that the bloc supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary and we are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace”, he said, adding that Kyiv itself should decide when and on what terms to achieve peace.
Ukraine earlier began talks with the United States on security guarantees in the period before NATO membership. The head of the Ukrainian president’s office, Andrii Yermak, emphasized at the same time that “as long as there is a war in our country, we cannot join the alliance and must secure reliable guarantees for the transition period”.