After an appeal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the United States said the action would be a step toward direct conflict with Russia.
The United States has ruled out imposing a “no-fly zone” on Russian planes over Ukraine after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western countries to consider such a measure to stop any further bombing by Russia.
In a video address, Zelensky said Russia had launched 56 missile attacks and launched 113 cruise missiles in the past five days since the war began on Feb. 24.
Zelensky, who did not specify how and who would enforce the no-fly zone, accused Russia of war crimes and said it should be brought before an international court.
He also said that Russia continued to bomb Ukrainian cities during the first round of talks with Ukrainian officials in Belarus on Monday.
I think Russia is trying to apply pressure in this inaccurate way. Don’t waste time. We do not accept such tactics. Fair negotiations can happen when one of the parties does not hit the other with rocket artillery at the same moment as the negotiations,” he said.
But Washington, which promised military aid, rejected the call for a no-fly zone, saying it would be a step toward direct conflict between the United States and Russia.
“The president has been very clear that he has no intention of sending American forces to war with Russia,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday.
“And I think the important thing to note here is that this is basically going to be a step towards that, because the no-fly zone is going to require implementation,” she added.
“It would require the deployment of the U.S. military to impose what might be a direct conflict, perhaps a direct conflict, perhaps a war with Russia, something we don’t plan to be a part of.”
More than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations, causing a refugee crisis with thousands also waiting to cross at seven European border crossings.
The United Nations said on Monday that at least 102 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the invasion began, but the true number may be much higher.
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