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NATO official: Ukraine could give up territory in return for membership

August 16 ------ Ukraine may have to agree to let go some of its territory occupied by Russia if it wants to join NATO, according to an alliance official.

Stian Jenssen, who serves as chief of staff to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, was speaking to Norwegian media at a panel discussion earlier today. Mr Stoltenberg has long cautiously avoided questions about what Ukraine might have to do to end the war. His position has consistently been that it's up to Ukraine not third parties to decide how and when negotiations with Russia should start. But while Mr Jenssen reiterated that line, he offered hints that Ukraine may indeed have a route into NATO. "There is significant movement in the question of future NATO membership for Ukraine," he said. "It is in everyone's interest that the war does not repeat itself. "Russia is struggling enormously militarily, and it seems unrealistic that they can take new territories. "Now it is rather a question of what Ukraine manages to take back," he added.

When asked by Norwegian newspaper VG whether Ukraine must cede land to achieve peace and get NATO membership in return, Mr Jenssen suggested that question has already been raised within the alliance. "I'm not saying it has to be like this," he said. "But that could be a possible solution." But that solution would run directly counter to President Zelenskyy's own stated goals for peace. One of the 10 points in his so-called peace formula involves restoring Ukraine's borders to where they were before the invasion. The Ukrainian president has made clear that's non-negotiable.



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