Ukraine should be ‘independent’ – Stoltenberg — RT World News

The Secretary General of NATO has supported negotiations as a means to end the conflict

NATO must continue to support Kiev until it can negotiate with Moscow about becoming an independent state, Secretary-General of the US-led bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Monday.

Speaking at Sweden's NATO membership acceptance ceremony, Stoltenberg repeated the bloc's talking points about supporting Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, but chose to frame the very hypothetical peace talks in terms of independence and sovereignty.

“We must continue to make Ukraine stand out [Russian] president [Vladimir] Putin added that he will not get what he wants on the battlefield, but must sit down and negotiate a solution in which Ukraine is recognized and has sovereignty as an independent, sovereign state. Stoltenberg said.

According to the Norwegian politician, it was Putin's goal “Less NATO, more control over its neighbours” And “To destroy Ukraine as a sovereign state.” Stoltenberg insisted that Russia had failed because NATO had failed “Bigger and stronger” And Ukraine is “Closer to NATO membership than ever before.”

He did not explain how NATO membership is linked to independence and sovereignty.

Stoltenberg also said Sweden's entry into NATO shows this “No one can close” The open block door that represents “The path to freedom and democracy.”

Sweden and Finland applied to the US-led bloc in May 2022, citing the Ukrainian conflict as an alleged threat to their security. Finland was accepted in a short time, but Sweden's application was postponed due to previous disagreements with Turkey and then Hungary.

Stockholm's decision meant abandoning the policy of neutrality adopted in 1814, which kept Sweden out of European and world wars.

Russia has repeatedly condemned NATO's eastward expansion in the wake of the Cold War, saying it violated written and oral promises to Moscow in exchange for allowing German reunification.

Putin cited Ukraine's public attempt to join the bloc as one of the reasons for launching the Russian military operation in February 2022. According to the Russian president, the United States and its allies have been trying to turn Ukraine back into their anti-Russian proxy since 2014. Coup in Kiev. He defined Russia's goals as ensuring Ukraine's neutrality, along with disarmament and disarmament “De-Nazification” Kyiv.

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