NATO Chief Downplays Aide's Land-for-Membership Remarks After Ukrainian Backlash

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday sought to downplay comments made by his aide earlier in the week that suggested Ukraine could give up land to Russia in exchange for membership of the military alliance.

    • Stian Jenssen, Stoltenberg's chief of staff, made the comments speaking at a panel event in the Norwegian city of Arendal on Tuesday. He reportedly said: "I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory and get NATO membership in return."

    The Spin

    Pro-Ukraine narrative

    Any talk of Ukraine giving up its territory to secure a peace deal is unacceptable. NATO should be working to ensure that Ukraine has all the weapons it needs to successfully repel Russia from all its territories, not simply making statements that favor the enemy.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    NATO fully supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. These were off-hand remarks that suggested a hypothetical of how the war may end, but the decision is Ukraine's alone to make.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 1% chance that Ukraine will join NATO before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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