5 Mar 2022 16:54

Any attempt to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine is the equivalent of involvement in fighting - Putin

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) - Russia will view any country trying to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine as a participant in an armed conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We're hearing now that there is a need to declare a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory. This can't be done over Ukrainian territory itself; it can be done only from the territories of some neighboring states. But we'll view any movement in this direction as involvement in an armed conflict by the country from whose territory threats to our military service members are posed," Putin said at a meeting with female employees of Russian airlines on Saturday.

"We'll instantly view them as participants in a military conflict, and then we won't care what kind of members they are. Excuse me, I mean members of what organizations," he added.

Putin said he hoped "this is understood and things won't go as far as that."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly urged NATO to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but all such appeals have been declined.