BRUSSELS “NATO countries refused to guard the no-fly zone over Ukraine on Friday, warning that such a move could provoke a major war in Europe with Russia’s nuclear energy,” the organization’s top civilian official said.
Speaking after a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his colleagues, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the suffering of the Ukrainian people as Russia increases its firepower by shelling cities and other facilities, forcing more than a million people out of the country.
“What is happening in Ukraine now is horrible. It hurts, and we see human suffering, we see destruction on a scale that has not been seen in Europe since World War II, ”he said. But, he added: “We are not going to move to Ukraine either on the ground or in Ukrainian airspace.”
In accordance with the guarantee of collective security, which is binding on 30 NATO member states, Article 5 memorandum of association – All allies must stand up for the ally if it comes under attack. Any downing of a NATO military plane by Russia could trigger this point.
“The only way to introduce a no-fly zone is to send NATO fighters into Ukrainian airspace and then bring this no-fly zone by shooting down Russian planes,” Stoltenberg said. He said the Allies believe that “if we do this, we will achieve something that could end in a full-fledged war in Europe.”
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West to introduce a no-fly zone over his country, recently after a fire at one of Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plants, the largest in Europe.
But, Stoltenberg said, “we are not part of this conflict, and we are responsible for ensuring that it does not escalate or spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more destructive and dangerous.”
NATO members and officials are concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons if one of them gets involved in the war against Ukraine. NATO itself has no weapons, but the United States, Britain and France are nuclear powers, as is Russia.
NATO has mobilized thousands of troops backed by aircraft, tanks and heavy equipment and deployed them on countries on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia, such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, who are nervous about Putin’s intentions about their future.
In the second round of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations on Thursday, Putin warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin’s demand for its “demilitarization” and declare itself a neutral country, thus refusing any application for NATO membership.
NATO insists that its doors remain open to any European country that wishes to join and can meet its membership obligations. Stoltenberg said the world’s largest security organization would also step up cooperation with its close allies Finland and Sweden.
Blinken also held talks in Brussels on Friday with members of the Group of Seven and the European Union.
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