KIEV, March 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday asked the US Congress to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine or supply S-300 and other air defense systems and warplanes as an alternative.
"Is that too much to ask to create a no-fly zone?" Zelensky said in a speech before both houses of the US Congress via a video link. "If that’s too much and we don’t have the right to ask for it, we offer an alternative. You know what kind of defense systems we need: S-300 and other similar systems."
"You know how much depends on the battlefield on the ability to use aircraft, powerful aviation to protect our people, our freedom, our land. Aircraft that can help Ukraine, Europe," he went on to say. "You know that they exist, and you have them but they are on the ground, not in the Ukrainian sky."
Amid Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, Zelensky has repeatedly asked NATO to establish a no-fly zone over his country. Heads of some NATO member states, including US President Joe Biden refused to do so. The US administration believes the move could escalate the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that any attempts by other countries to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine will be viewed by Russia as participation in the conflict and that would entail catastrophic consequences for the entire world. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Biden vetoed a transfer to Ukraine of Polish Mig-29 fighter jets to prevent an escalation of the conflict.
It was earlier reported that the US Congress and Zelensky asked the US administration for help in supplying Ukraine with heavy Soviet-made weaponry including Mig planes and an S-300 missile system. CNN reported on Wednesday that the US and NATO sent an additional shipment of man-portable air defense systems to Ukraine.