The Biden administration and other western leaders ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine amid worries that it would trigger a direct conflict between NATO and Russia, Axios reports.
Zelensky told Axios that if NATO imposes a no-fly zone “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. "Ukraine can beat the aggressor. We are proving this to the world. But our allies must also do their part."
The plea came as Russia moved a 40-mile convoy of military equipment near Kyiv and surrounded Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
US rules out:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated President Joe Biden’s vow that the US would not commit troops to defending Ukraine.
"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," she 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,” she added.
Others reject too:
NATO also ruled out a no-fly zone over the country.
"We have no intentions of moving into Ukraine neither on the ground or in the airspace," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told MSNBC. "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."
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said his country would not impose a no-fly zone, saying that “NATO would have to effectively declare war on Russia.”