Is This the Solution to the Ukraine War?

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The Ukrainian military has recently admitted that its summer offensive did not accomplish its goals. Politicians in Europe and America are now thinking about how to end the war.

A former NATO secretary has advanced the possibility of granting NATO membership to Ukraine if the occupied territories were not included. Yahoo News reports:

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Former Secretary General of NATO, has put forward a proposal for Ukraine to join the alliance, but that Article 5 of the Washington Treaty should not apply to the territories occupied by Russia.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who served as the secretary general of NATO from 2009 to 2014, insists that the plan for Ukraine’s partial membership does not symbolise the freezing of the conflict but, instead, signifies the determination to prevent Russia from obstructing Ukraine’s entry into the Alliance. Rasmussen stated that the issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership cannot be postponed any longer.

Ukraine has relentlessly been asking for NATO membership since the 2000s, with the request being more urgent since 2014. A likely theory on Putin’s attack on Ukraine was to prevent it from joining NATO, as legally-occupied territory creates a conundrum for the alliance, as was the case in 2008 Georgia. The Guardian continues:

Ukraine’s leadership was left bitterly disappointed when, under US and German pressure, Nato at its summit this year issued a statement saying Ukraine would be offered an invitation when conditions allowed, effectively rejecting Ukraine’s request to be given a specific date.

Instead, Ukraine’s relationship with Nato was elevated on the margins by setting up a Ukraine-Nato council and through an agreement that Nato members bilaterally would offer security guarantees to Ukraine.

Ukraine was probably best to negotiate in strength at the end of 2022, but the opportunity has since passed. Zelensky will have to decide if he thinks Ukraine can sustain more assaults in the future, hoping for additional NATO munitions. If the conflict in Gaza does not stop soon and Western arms production does not ramp up, Ukraine might be in a tough position.

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