NATO officials attempted to disavow their assumption about a possibility for Ukraine to cede part of the territory to Russia in exchange for membership in the alliance. In their most recent statement they said that it was only up to Kyiv to decide when peace could be achieved and how.
NATO continues to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The alliance tried to dissociate itself from the recent statement from NATO chief of staff Stian Jenssen, who publicly admitted a possibility of such a decision.
The voiced idea has caused quite a stir.
Kyiv showed a very vivid reaction to Jenssen's remarks. Zelensky's aide Mikhail Podolyak found that such a "strange" suggestion would lead the "defeat of democracy."
Russian officials responded by saying that they had no intention to make any agreements with NATO at all. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, found the idea "curious" because all of Ukraine's territories could be regarded as disputed ones. The authorities of Ukraine would then have to cede Kyiv, the capital of Ancient Rus', and move to Lviv, Medvedev said.
NATO should remember that Russia started the special military operation after the alliance ignored Russia's 2021 "ultimatum" to the West to return the bloc to its 1997 borders.
Military expert and retired colonel Viktor Litovkin believes that one should not take up such a proposal.
"Ukraine will not be either demilitarised or denazified within its residuary borders. Consequently, Russia's security will not be ensured either. As a matter of fact, they suggest surrender rather than territories. It is at least uncomfortable to have such a crazy neighbour as Kyiv. This problem must be solved once and for all," the expert believes.
The Black Sea stands out as a separate issue. It is imperative for Russia to cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea.
Historian Igor Pykhalov believes that all countries of the world build their policies on the basis of their own interests, and Russia is no exception.
The United States snatched off half of Mexico and does not intend to return anything. In such a situation, Russia should occupy the entire territory of Ukraine up to the border of the former Soviet Union.
Tellingly, USSR's post-war western border historically coincides with the western border of Ancient Rus', and Kyiv itself was the centre of ancient Russian statehood.
According to experts, leaving a piece of Ukraine to NATO makes no sense at all as Russia would then have to deal with violence for many decades afterwards.
"As long as Russia has knocked a chip from its shoulder, we must take advantage of the situation and carry on hostilities till final victory. NATO shouldn't get anything of Ukraine," they conclude.
Military political scientist Andrei Koshkin believes that the conflict will end only on Russia's terms.
“It is unacceptable to assume that someone may decide something for Russia. It was the Western countries — the UK and the USA — that dragged Russia into the conflict with Ukraine, and certainly they should not be given the right to make decisions. They have decided enough, having created a plethora of problems for a century ahead. Russia must take the special operation to the end and win," he concluded.
Former US intelligence officer Scott Ritter believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should flee Ukraine.