Talk of Ukraine Joining NATO in Exchange for Territorial Concessions Is Unacceptable – Ukraine's Foreign Ministry

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected proposals to discuss Ukraine's membership of the North Atlantic Alliance in exchange for territorial concessions to Russia.

Oleh Nikolenko, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that any talk of Ukraine joining NATO in exchange for giving up part of Ukrainian territories was "absolutely unacceptable".

"We have always assumed that the Alliance, like Ukraine, does not trade territories. The conscious or unconscious participation of NATO officials in shaping the narrative regarding the possibility of Ukraine's giving up its territories plays into the hands of Russia," he said.

"Instead, it is in the interests of Euro-Atlantic security to discuss ways to accelerate Ukraine's victory and full NATO membership," Nikolenko added.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that Ukraine is committed to further "fruitful cooperation with the NATO Secretariat to achieve these goals".

Stian Jenssen, Director of the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General, had suggested that Ukraine could potentially join the Alliance in exchange for territory. However, he emphasised that such a decision should be made by Kyiv alone.

The issue of Ukraine's membership of the Alliance was on the agenda at NATO’s Vilnius Summit in July this year. In particular, the NATO Summit agreed to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine's path to the Alliance. At the same time, the allies indicated that they would invite Ukraine to join NATO "when conditions are met".

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