First NATO Country Calls for No-fly Zone in Ukraine

Estonia’s Parliament on Monday called for the creation of a no-fly zone in Ukraine as Russia’s attacks continue throughout the country, becoming the first NATO member state to do so.

“The Riigikogu (Parliament) asks the U.N. member states to take immediate steps to establish a no-fly zone in order to prevent massive civilian casualties in Ukraine,” the Parliament said, adding that it “expresses its support to the defenders and the people of the state of Ukraine in their fight against the Russian Federation that has launched a criminal war.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, when asked about whether a no-fly zone should be implemented, told reporters that it is “a matter that as you know has been analyzed by a number of countries that considered that possibility as a risk of escalation that could create a global conflict.”

But Guterres said that “we need to be prudent … even if I understand the dramatic appeal of the Ukrainian government.”

Since the start of the Feb. 24 conflict, Ukrainian officials have repeatedly called for a no-fly zone over the country. However, top NATO and White House officials said there is no consideration for a no-fly zone, as that would involve U.S. or NATO planes shooting down Russian ones.

The Biden administration said that such a move could provoke the Kremlin to further escalate attacks, including nuclear strikes.

“We’re going to continue to stand together with our allies in Europe and send an unmistakable message. We will defend every single inch of NATO territory with the full might of the united and galvanized NATO,” President Joe Biden said last week.

The United States and NATO, he added, “will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine” because a “direct conflict between NATO and Russia is World War III, something we must strive to prevent.”

On Monday, battles continued around many of Ukraine’s main cities, including the capital Kyiv. Ukraine said it would try to evacuate civilians through 10 humanitarian corridors on Monday.

Russia denies targeting civilians, describing its actions as a “special operation” to demilitarise Ukraine. Ukraine and Western allies call this a baseless pretext for Russia’s invasion of the democratic country of 44 million.

Frontline states such as Poland, which has welcomed well over half of the total number fleeing, and Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova, have taken in the vast majority of the refugees, some of whom have then headed on further west.

Poland’s border guard said about 1.76 million people had entered the country since the fighting started, with 18,400 arriving during the early hours of Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times