Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky won’t give up on his call for the US and NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would put the Western powers in a direct war with Russia. In a virtual address to Canada’s parliament on Tuesday, Zelensky again pleaded for the Western powers to “close the sky.”
“Can you imagine when you call your [allies], and you ask, ‘please close the sky, close the airspace, please stop the bombings, how many more cruise missiles have to fall on our cities until you make this happen?’ And in return, they express their deep concerns about the situation,” Zelensky said.
“Please understand how important it is for us to close our airspace from Russian missiles and Russian aircraft. I hope you can understand,” Zelensky added.
So far, the Biden administration has stood firm in its opposition to imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the administration’s position on Tuesday. She said President Biden “continues to believe that a no-fly zone would be escalatory, could prompt a war with Russia.”
To enforce a no-fly zone, the US would have to shoot down Russian warplanes and bomb surface-to-air missiles inside Russia. Even though such actions would risk nuclear war, there are still growing calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, including from some members of Congress.
Zelensky is set to address Congress on Wednesday morning and is expected to repeat his plea for direct US and NATO intervention in the war. At this point, Estonia is the only NATO member that had an official body call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
While holding out on a no-fly zone, the US and NATO still risk provoking Russia by working to flood Ukraine with weapons. In a message to the Western powers, Russia launched missile strikes on western Ukraine’s Yavoriv military facility, which houses foreign volunteers and has previously hosted US and NATO troops.