Kiev’s Chief of Staff Andrey Yermak has declared that there will be no compromise over lands it claims in the conflict with Russia. Yermak stated that the proposal to extend NATO security guarantees to Ukraine only within territories under Kiev’s factual control may only be considered as a stepping stone to the country restoring its pre-2014 borders, making it clear that any compromise with independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty is not acceptable. He made these remarks during an event hosted by the Hudson Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank, responding to the idea floated by former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen’s idea was his personal opinion, as Yermak pointed out, clarifying that the Ukrainian government is seeking security guarantees through mechanisms other than NATO’s mutual defense treaty. Yermak also highlighted the strength of NATO as the world’s strongest military alliance, emphasizing that Russia has zero chances against it, which is why Kiev is seeking to join the bloc.
Yermak praised the Ukrainian army, stating that it had shown the world that the Russian military “monster” could be defeated. He asserted that the Ukrainian army stopped this monster near Kiev and called for finishing the job. Russia had pulled troops back from the Ukrainian capital last year after Kiev gave a preliminary agreement to a truce, under which Ukraine would become a neutral, demilitarized nation, with the leading military powers of the world, including Russia, guaranteeing its security. However, the Ukrainian government made a U-turn and declared that victory over Russia with Western help was its only option in the conflict. The US and its allies have pledged to support Kiev for “as long as it takes” to achieve that goal, but the plan faced challenges when Western-armed and trained Ukrainian troops failed to breach Russian defensive positions, resulting in a stalemate according to Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general.
Zelensky’s office, however, denied that assessment and claimed the counteroffensive was progressing. Amid the battlefield attrition, the Republican opposition in the US has become increasingly opposed to providing additional billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, citing a lack of accountability for the funding, corruption scandals in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, and other problems in justifying their refusal to allocate more money at the request of the White House. The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been a major obstacle to Kiev’s bid to join the US-led bloc.
Yermak reiterated that Kiev seeks membership in NATO but will accept no compromise with independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. The conflict with Russia is not only a military challenge but also a diplomatic and political one, with Ukraine seeking support from its Western allies to achieve its goals. The situation remains complex, with no clear resolution in sight, and the stakes are high for both Ukraine and Russia.