The Russian president said on March 5 that countries and groups that impose no-fly zones on Ukraine would be immediately considered to have entered into a conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “I have heard that it is now necessary to set a no-fly zone on Ukrainian territory.” “Any move in this direction will participate in armed conflict on either side.” Will be considered. ” That territory will threaten our military personnel. “
“Second, we consider them participants in military conflicts, and it doesn’t matter which member they are,” Putin told Aeroflot pilot trainees in the Moscow region.
After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Ukrainian authorities urged outside officials to impose a no-fly zone on Ukraine.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told reporters on Saturday. “We need it urgently. We need it now to not allow Putin to destroy the whole world.”
However, US and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials refused, claiming they were not part of the war.
“We are not part of this conflict and are responsible for preventing it from escalating and spreading beyond Ukraine,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stortenberg said at a press conference in Brussels on Friday. ..
“We understand despair, but we believe that doing so will end up with something that could lead to a full-scale war in far more countries and far more suffering Europe. “He added.
In another briefing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said NATO members “have a responsibility to prevent the war from spreading beyond Ukraine.”
“The only way to actually implement something like a no-fly zone is to send a plane into Ukrainian airspace and shoot down a Russian plane, which could lead to a full-scale war in Europe.” Brinken said.
US President Joe Biden said he did not want the United States to engage directly with Russia unless Russian troops attack NATO members.
Putin also said that Russia’s invasion was justified because Russian-speaking people were killed in Donbus, which is part of eastern Ukraine where fighting has taken place in recent years, and Ukraine wanted to manufacture nuclear weapons. Told to. Ukrainian officials said the aggression was unjustified and accused Russian troops of committing war crimes.
“Our boys fighting there now are at stake. They are at stake for our future, for the future of our children,” Putin said. rice field. “This is completely obvious.”
Putin also said that Western sanctions on Russia were “similar to a declaration of war,” state media reported.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.