U.S rejects suggested ‘no-fly’ zone over Ukraine after Zelenskyy appeal

Mar 1, 2022:  The U.S rejected calls for a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine arguing that it would be an “escalatory” measure.

The United States has refused to impose a “no-fly zone” on Russian aircraft in Ukraine after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged western powers to consider such a move to prevent further Russian bombing.

In a video address, Zelenskyy said Russia had fired 56 rockets and fired 113 cruise missiles in the five days since the start of the war on February 24. “If the West does this, Ukraine will defeat the aggressor with much less blood,” the Ukrainian leader explained.

Zelenskyy, who did not specify how and by whom the no-fly zone would be enforced, accused Russia of committing war crimes and said it should be brought before an international tribunal.

Meanwhile, the U.S White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that declaring a “no-fly” zone would require enforcement, and that would “essentially mean the U.S. military would be shooting down planes, Russian planes.”

“That is definitely escalating and would potentially put us in a place in a military conflict with Russia. That’s something the president doesn’t want to do,” she added, noting the administration has repeatedly said that U.S. troops will not be fighting Russian forces barring a NATO Article 5 situation.

Foreign leaders have pointed out their support for Article 5 of the NATO agreement which says that if any NATO member gets attacked, it should be considered “an attack against them all.”

“The role of the president of the United States, any president, is to make an assessment about what is in the interest of the United States, our national security interests, the American people, and certainly weigh very heavily how we’re leading the global community,” Psaki told reporters Friday. “It is not in our interest to be in a war with Russia. So no, we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine.”

Zelenskyy meanwhile said that Russia continued to bomb Ukrainian cities during the first round of talks with Ukrainian officials in Belarus on Monday.

“I believe that Russia is trying to apply pressure in this unsubtle way. Do not waste time. We do not accept such tactics. Fair negotiations can occur when one side does not hit the other side with rocket artillery at the very moment of negotiations,” he said.

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