NATO’s Stoltenberg reaffirms support for Ukraine in possible return of Crimea, even by force

1 March, 04:12 PM
Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa via REUTERS)

Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa via REUTERS)

NATO will continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to restore its internationally recognized borders and regain control of the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea, including by force, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Feb. 28.

“At the end of the day, it’s absolutely likely that this war will end at the negotiating table,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT.

“And then it will be for the Ukrainians to decide both the conditions for negotiations and what they can accept.”

According to Stoltenberg, the alliance’s task is “to support Ukraine, because we know that what happens at the negotiating table is inextricably linked to strength on the battlefield.”

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“So, if we really want a negotiated peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine, then the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine. And then it has to be Ukraine that decides what conditions are acceptable.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office, said on Feb. 23 that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could liberate temporarily occupied Crimea earlier than Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

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