5 Mar 2022 02:49

Zelensky says NATO knowingly decided against introducing 'no-fly zone' in Ukraine

KYIV. March 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he is disappointed with the North Atlantic Alliance's decision not to impose a 'no-fly zone' over the country.

"A NATO summit was hold today, a weak summit, a disconcerted summit. A summit that shows that not everybody views the fight for freedom for Europe as the goal number one. [...] NATO has knowingly decided against closing the sky over Ukraine," Zelensky said in a video address on Friday night.

"NATO countries themselves created the narrative that closing the sky over Ukraine would allegedly provoke a direct aggression" against the North Atlantic Alliance, he said.

"All the alliance has bothered to do at this point is insert 50 tonnes of diesel fuel for Ukraine into the system of its own purchases," he said.

"I don't know whom you can defend and whether you can defend your own countries, member countries: you can't buy us off with liters of fuel [...]," he said.

At the same time, Zelensky expressed gratitude to Ukraine's friends in NATO, to the partners who he said constitute a majority in the bloc, "because we feel we are not alone."

"At the UN Security Council meeting, we called for closing the sky over Ukraine and launching an operation to maintain peace and security," Zelensky later wrote on Twitter.

"The goal is to save hazardous facilities," he tweeted in the early hours of Saturday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier on Friday that NATO member countries had agreed that the alliance should not send its forces to Ukraine.

"So we have made it clear that we are not going to move into Ukraine, neither on the ground, or in Ukrainian airspace," Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels following an extraordinary meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Friday.

The ministers raised this issue on Friday but came to the unanimous conclusion that there must be no NATO forces in Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.