The comments were made by Stian Jenssen, chief of staff for NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

By Dave DeCamp,

A NATO official has suggested Ukraine could cede some territory to Russia in exchange for joining the Western military alliance.

The comments were made on Tuesday by Stian Jenssen, chief of staff for NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and reported by the Norwegian newspaper VG. “I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory, and get NATO membership in return,” he said, adding that it should be up to Ukraine when and on what terms to negotiate.

War in Ukraine. Shopping center that was damaged by shelling on 21 March by a Russian attack in Kyiv, where according to emergency service, at least six people died

Jenssen said the issue of Ukraine’s status after the war is being discussed within the alliance and that some countries have raised the possibility of Kyiv ceding some territory. The comments come as the Ukrainian counteroffensive is stalling, and Western officials are admitting it’s very unlikely to succeed.

The comments mark the first time that a high-level NATO official suggested Ukraine might have to cede territory to Russia. The US and NATO have backed Ukraine’s demands for peace, which include Russia withdrawing from all the territory it has captured since invading, as well as giving up Crimea, which has been Russian-controlled since 2014.

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