Would lead to U.S. shooting down Russian planes
Highlight from today’s WH presser
Zelensky is urging President Biden and NATO to impose a “no-fly zone” over “significant parts” of the country, telling Axios in a statement that Ukraine “can beat the aggressor” if the Western allies “do their part.”
Biden has ruled out sending U.S. troops to fight Russia in Ukraine. That pledge extends to a no-fly zone, which would require the U.S. military to potentially directly engage Russian air forces.
Zelensky said in a statement to Axios provided through an adviser: “If the West does this, Ukraine will defeat the aggressor with much less blood.”
“The sanctions are heading in the right direction. In addition to disconnecting the Russian Central Bank from SWIFT and providing more Stingers and anti-tank weapons, we need the West to impose a no-fly zone over significant parts of Ukraine,” Zelensky said.
“Here’s what’s important for everybody to know about a no-fly zone: What that would require is implementation by the U.S. military. It would essentially mean the U.S. military would be shooting down Russian planes,” Psaki told MSNBC.
“That is definitely escalatory, that would potentially put us into a place where we’re in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something the president wants to do.”
“We have no intentions of moving into Ukraine neither on the ground or in the airspace,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told MSNBC on Monday. “We have a responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t spiral out of control that escalates even further into concern for full-fledged war in Europe involving NATO allies.”
U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has also ruled out the idea, saying that “NATO would have to effectively declare war on Russia.”
Between the lines: In Washington, only a very hawkish minority is publicly advocating a no-fly zone.
Adam Kinzinger tweeted Friday that the U.S. should “declare a No Fly Zone over Ukraine” to disrupt Russia’s air operations and “give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight.”
Kinzinger’s call was met with prompt criticism from members of both parties.
“No. This is insane,” Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said in response to Kinzinger’s tweet.”