NATO Official Who Mentioned Ukrainian Membership in Exchange for Territory Apologises

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Stian Jenssen, the head of the NATO Secretary General's Office, has referred to his proposals to discuss Ukraine's membership of the North Atlantic Alliance in exchange for territorial concessions to Russia as a "mistake."

As reported by Norwegian VG, Jenssen noted that his statement was "part of a broader discussion about possible future scenarios in Ukraine. I should not have spoken about it in this way." "It was a mistake," added the NATO official.

He pointed out that his statement from the previous day regarding "membership in exchange for territory" needs clarification after causing a media uproar.

"If – and I emphasised, if – you get to the point where you can negotiate, the military situation on the battlefield, who controls what, will play a central role and will certainly have a decisive impact on what the possible outcome of this war will look like," Jenssen mentioned.

Therefore, Jenssen pointed out that "it is extremely important that we support Ukraine with what it needs."

Furthermore, the head of the Secretary General's office mentioned the necessity of providing Kyiv with "security guarantees" to not let the events from 2014 and 2022 happen.

Jenssen specifically underscored that it is Ukraine that should decide under what conditions it will be ready to start negotiations with Moscow and what those negotiations will be about.

On Tuesday, 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 Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called such discussions "absolutely unacceptable," emphasising that they contribute to the Russian narrative.

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