NATO chief hints Ukraine could join under one condition but Kyiv refuses

A former NATO boss suggested Ukraine join the alliance while giving up territory to Russia – a former advisor to parliament in Kyiv told Daily Express US there’s no way the government would negotiate with Vladimir Putin.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen suggested that the free parts of Ukraine join the alliance leaving the occupied portions under Russian control, for now.

He argued that this would not freeze the conflict but keep Russia from attacking other areas of Ukraine – Kyiv could then send more troops to the frontline, according to a report in the Guardian. But it’s unclear how this could work practically without at least some cessation of hostilities, even if temporary.

But former advisor to Ukraine’s parliament Mykola Volkivskyi told Daily Express US that Ukraine would not negotiate with Putin until Russia withdrew from all “internationally recognised territory of Ukraine” as well as the release of all Ukrainian prisoners.

He said: “Until these provisions are fulfilled, there is no point in negotiating with a terrorist state whose army commits war crimes in Ukraine on a daily basis.”

Mr Volkivskyi added: “History teaches that any agreements with Russia are not worth the paper they are written on. The Kremlin is the first to treacherously violate its obligations if it has sufficient potential to wage war.”

The Kyiv insider added that Putin would continue to kill “millions of Russians” to continue territorial expansion in Ukraine.

The comments surrounding a potential peace come amid a deadlock on the frontlines. While fighting has been fierce across the front since the summer, both sides have captured relatively little territory.

Still, Mr Volkivskyi is confident that Kyiv’s forces are moving in the right direction adding that Ukraine was working through Russian reserves in the southern Ukraine.

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He said: “Ukrainian defenders are coping with this task perfectly. The occupiers have lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers in killed and wounded, a huge amount of military equipment.”

Russia has a significant military advantage in the sheer number of equipment and men it can throw at the battlefield – but Ukraine has used Western weaponry to decimate Moscow’s forces in some areas.

Mr Volkivskyi added: “Despite the asymmetry in military potential, Ukraine has won a number of convincing victories over Russia. The Ukrainian military command has a plan for further warfare, and it will succeed.”

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