Kiev Pushing NATO to Create No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine

189

Despite the huge risk of escalation, Ukraine’s Western backers appear to be entertaining the idea of a no-fly zone.

Kiev Pushing NATO to Create No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine

Ukrainian officials are pushing NATO countries to impose a no-fly zone over western Ukraine using air defense systems in eastern Europe, a step that would mean direct NATO involvement in the war with Russia.

“I don’t understand why NATO doesn’t deploy Patriot systems along the Polish border,” Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker, told AFP. “After all, Russian missiles have already entered Polish and Romanian airspace. This would protect the borders of Poland and Romania, and this would create a safe zone in the west and south of Ukraine.”

The idea is for NATO to protect Ukrainian industry and energy infrastructure in the western portion of the country. But a no-fly zone would require NATO to shoot down Russian missiles and potentially Russian aircraft, and the direct NATO involvement would make nuclear war much more likely.

Despite the huge risk of escalation, Ukraine’s Western backers appear to be entertaining the idea of a no-fly zone. A European diplomatic source told AFP that talks about the issue were “in progress,” adding that it was “not a simple decision.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed for a US and NATO-imposed no-fly zone over all of Ukraine in the early days of the war but backed off the demand as it received little support. In May, he began calling for NATO to shoot down Russian missiles and downplayed the risk of nuclear escalation.

“So my question is, what’s the problem? Why can’t we shoot them down? Is it defense? Yes. Is it an attack on Russia? No. Are you shooting down Russian planes and killing Russian pilots? No. So, what’s the issue with involving NATO countries in the war? There is no such issue,” Zelensky said in an interview with The New York Times.