Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a statement on Monday implored President Biden and NATO to impose a no-fly zone over "significant parts" of Ukraine, claiming his country "can beat the aggressor" if Western powers "do their part," the adviser-provided statement reads, per Axios.
"If the West does this, Ukraine will defeat the aggressor with much less blood," Zelensky wrote.
"The sanctions are heading in the right direction. In addition to disconnecting the Russian Central Bank from SWIFT and providing more Stingers and anti-tank weapons, we need the West to impose a no-fly zone over significant parts of Ukraine," he added, per Axios. "Ukraine can beat the aggressor. We are proving this to the world. But our allies must also do their part."
Biden had previously declined to send U.S. troops to Ukraine, a vow that also covers the creation of a no-fly zone, considering such a decision would "require the U.S. military to potentially directly engage Russian air forces," Axios writes.
On Friday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, called for a no-fly zone himself, though critics of the proposal did not take kindly to the idea. Zelensky previously appeared to make a similar request on Thursday, in a tweet that called on leaders to "close the airspace."
But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday once again rejected the idea, telling MSNBC that the military alliance has "no intentions of moving into Ukraine neither on the ground or in the airspace," per Axios. "We have a responsibility to make sure that this doesn't spiral out of control that escalates even further into concern for full-fledged war in Europe involving NATO allies."