NATO backpedals as Ukraine fumes over land for membership gaffe

This isn’t a gaffe. And it’s not the first time it’s been said either.

BRUSSELS — NATO was in cleanup mode Wednesday after a senior official sparked a dust-up over his suggestion that Ukraine could cede territory to Russia in exchange for NATO membership. 

The controversy started Tuesday when Stian Jenssen, director of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s private office, said one solution to the ongoing war could be for Ukraine to offer Russia land in return for a spot in the NATO military alliance. 

Within hours, Ukraine was expressing outrage, diplomats were doing double takes and Moscow was putting it all through the Kremlin’s spin machine. 

“Trading territory for a NATO umbrella? It is ridiculous,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office. 

Recall this one?

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