WASHINGTON — In his address to Congress on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy doubled down on his request for the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Zelenskyy has continued to pressure NATO countries for air support, including a no-fly zone, which would have US or NATO fighter jets shoot down Russian bombers and other aircraft that appear to be continuing to target civilians.
“Enforcement of a no-fly zone is not possible. At this point it’s not even on the table,” said Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN-5th), who was born in Ukraine. “But, they have to protect their humanitarian corridors to be able to evacuate some people and there are some things possible.”
After listening to Zelenskyy’s address, Spartz said she felt encouraged when speaking to some Democratic colleagues in Congress who she says are just as dissatisfied as she is with a “lack of action” by President Biden.
Zelenskyy did say that if a no-fly zone is still not feasible then he requested more air support from NATO countries in the form of military aid. About an hour after Zelenskyy’s address, President Biden approved an aid package worth roughly $800 million to Ukraine, which includes drones.
In announcing the aid package, Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”
Still, many are still dissatisfied with the steps taken by Biden to help Ukraine. In answering Zelenskyy’s call for air support, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2nd) wants the president to authorize the transfer of several MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine from Poland.
Poland has offered up the MiGs to Ukraine, but other NATO countries, including the United States, said no to that plan.
“A lot of heard and believe President Zelenskyy that they will be victorious if they have air power. I think a lot of us understand that,” Walorski said. “We can applaud all day long, but we still don’t have what he needs and that’s air support. (Zelenskyy) needs those MiGs. He needs this president (Biden) to stand up and do that.”
Walorski is also in the camp of lawmakers that do not support a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
President Biden continues to stress that sanctions levied on Russia by his administration are working.