We must not allow Minsk-3 to happen, – Stoltenberg on peace talks with Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that in order to reach a solution for peace in Ukraine, its members must provide Ukraine with military support, and this, as he pointed out, is exactly what the Alliance countries are doing.

Stoltenberg said this at a press conference dedicated to the upcoming NATO summit in Washington.

NATO’s Secretary General was asked whether the Alliance’s leaders are determined enough to resist pressure to push Ukraine into talks about relinquishing its territory and demands to abandon NATO membership as a precondition for a ceasefire.

“Alliance leaders are determined and strong, and this will be clearly expressed at the NATO summit, where I expect a strong aid package for Ukraine. With new training and assistance from the Alliance for Ukraine, a NATO command for Ukraine, financial commitments, additional announcements of increased military support, bilateral security agreements…”, Stoltenberg stressed.

He noted that it is Kyiv that should decide what conditions are acceptable for peace talks and any solution reached through negotiations, because Ukraine is a sovereign independent state.

“What we have to do as NATO members is to help Ukraine strengthen its position, because we know that there is a very strong connection between what happens at the negotiating table and the situation on the battlefield,” Stoltenberg said.

NATO chief noted there was no sign of Vladimir Putin being ready for peace talks, while his latest proposal was for Ukraine to give up all territory in four regions it illegally annexed.

He also reminded that the war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine began in 2014 with the illegal annexation of Crimea.

“Then a few months later they (the Russians) entered eastern Donbas, agreed on a ceasefire in the form of the Minsk agreements, violated them, moved the front line even further west, agreed on Minsk-2, waited seven years, and then launched a full-scale offensive and captured even more (territory). We cannot allow Minsk-3,” Stoltenberg summarized.

He stated that when Russia stops its aggression, we need security and an opportunity to give Ukraine the ability to restrain the Russian Federation.

“We also need certain security guarantees for Ukraine. And, of course, this is also one of the reasons why the members of the Alliance so clearly stated that Ukraine will become a member of NATO,” explained Stoltenberg.

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