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Manchin calls for keeping no-fly zone as one option to help Ukraine

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said the U.S. should keep the option of establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine on the table as part of several suggestions to support Ukrainians.

Asked by moderator Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he would support a no-fly zone, Manchin emphasized that all options must be left open as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.

“To take anything off the table, thinking we might not be able to use things because we’ve already taken it off the table, is wrong,” Manchin said.

“I will take nothing off the table. But I would be very clear that we’re going to support the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian president and this government every way humanly possible,” he added.

Whether the U.S. should establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine has been a hotly debated topic in Washington and on the world stage. A growing number of U.S. lawmakers and Ukrainian figures — including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — are calling for the move to be imposed, but Biden administration officials have said such an act is not on the table.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said President Biden has not been willing to announce a no-fly zone because implementing the policy would prompt a “potential direct war with Russia,” which the U.S. wants to avoid.

“The reason why that has not been a step the president has been willing to take or we have been interested in taking is because a no-fly zone requires implementation,” Psaki told reporters. 

“It would require, essentially, the U.S. military shooting down Russian planes and prompting a potential direct war with Russia, the exact step that we want to avoid,” she added.

During a call with a bipartisan group of more than 280 congressional lawmakers on Saturday, Zelensky asked that the U.S. impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Tags Chuck Todd Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Manchin
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