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Blinken on no-fly zone discussions: We’re trying to ‘end this war in Ukraine, not start a larger one’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the Biden administration is not considering imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine because U.S. officials are trying to “end this war in Ukraine, not start a larger one.”

Asked by moderator Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” why the U.S. has ruled out a no-fly zone, Blinken said President Biden has been clear in his goal of keeping the U.S. out of direct conflict with Russia.

“[The] president’s been very clear about one thing all along as well, which is we’re not going to put the United States in direct conflict with Russia, not have, you know, American planes flying against Russian planes or our soldiers on the ground in Ukraine,” Blinken said.

“The president also has a responsibility to not get us into a direct conflict, a direct war with Russia, a nuclear power, and risk a war that expands even beyond Ukraine to Europe. That’s clearly not our interest. What we’re trying to do is end this war in Ukraine, not start a larger one,” he added.

The secretary of State emphasized that implementing a no-fly zone would mean the U.S. would have the enforce the policy, which would involve shooting down Russian planes that travel over Ukraine.

A growing number of bipartisan lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but the White House has said such a move is not on the table. The administration is concerned that enforcing the restrictions could bring Russia and the U.S. into direct conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also asked the U.S. to implement a no-fly zone over his nation. 

Tags Antony Blinken Chuck Todd Joe Biden

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