NATO says no to Ukrainian no-fly zone, citing fears of further escalation

Imposing a so-called NFZ has some GOP support on Capitol Hill

Updated: March 4, 2022 - 10:07am

NATO allies have rejected Ukraine's request for a no-fly zone, saying they are increasing support to Ukraine but that intervening directly could provoke a much larger war across Europe.

"We are not part of this conflict, and we have a responsibility to ensure it does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine,"  NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for Western powers to institute a so-called NFZ to keep Russian aircraft out of Ukraine airspace, as Russia invades the neighbor country by land and air, most recently firing a projectile into a nuclear plant, Europe's largest.

"We understand the desperation but we also believe that if we did that (a no-fly zone) we would end up with something that could lead to a full-fledged war in Europe involving much more countries and much more suffering," Stoltenberg also said at a press conference announcing the decision.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said if such as zone cannot be implemented, "then given me planes. Would that not be fair?"

Prior to the NATO chief's announcement, Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said imposing such a zone would lead to "World War III."

However, the plan has some GOP support on Capitol Hill.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a military veteran, said he fear if the Russia attacks continue to escalate without the U.S. taking such action "we will have to intervene in a bigger way," according to Politico.

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker is also reportedly on board to such a zone, amid the escalating Russia attack.