Ukraine was offered closer NATO ties to encourage negotiating with Russia, WSJ report says

25 February, 01:21 AM
Ukraine and NATO (Photo:US Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine / Facebook))

Ukraine and NATO (Photo:US Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine / Facebook))

France, the UK, and Germany have offered Ukraine an agreement that would accelerate integration with NATO, hoping this would encourage Kyiv to negotiate a peace settlement with Russia, The Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 24.

This agreement would have provided Ukraine with broader access to Western military equipment. At the same time, it obliges Kyiv to start peace negotiations with Moscow.

This proposal was made by UK PM Rishi Sunak, later supported by Berlin and Paris. According to the WSJ, these countries have doubts that Ukraine will be able to force the Russians out of their territories by military means. They also believe that Western partners won’t be able to support Ukraine with military assistance if the conflict reaches a stalemate.

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“We keep repeating that Russia mustn’t win, but what does that mean?” a senior French official said.

“If the war goes on for long enough with this intensity, Ukraine’s losses will become unbearable. And no one believes they will be able to retrieve Crimea.”

According to the WSJ, Macron and Scholz told Zelenskyy about the need to consider the possibility of peace negotiations with Moscow. At the same time, the source claims that this agreement should show Russia the readiness of the West to increase its military assistance to Ukraine over time. This is what may convince the Kremlin that it won’t be able to achieve its military goal of subjugating the country.

“The NATO summit must produce a clear offer to Ukraine, also to give Zelenskyy a political win that he can present at home as an incentive for negotiations,” a UK official told WSJ. “Russia’s wars have a tendency to freeze and then unfreeze, and that is why Ukraine will need more (security) guarantees from us.”

Any such decision must ultimately be supported by all NATO members, however.

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