WASHINGTON — Members of Congress on Sunday highlighted what has become a widely held position on Capitol Hill: that the United States should respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by banning Russian oil imports, but not by imposing a no-fly zone over the country. that could draw nuclear powers into war.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers took that stance on several Sunday morning news programs.
“There’s no point in continuing to buy oil from Russia that they are using to fund this war and this murderous campaign that they are undertaking,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told DailyExpertNews’s. State of the Union.” He added that there was support for supplying supplies and planes to Ukraine after the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, made that request to Congress on Saturday.
But Mr Rubio and others said the risks of the United States imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine – as Mr Zelensky had also requested – were too great. On ABC’s “This Week,” Mr. Rubio that this move would directly involve the United States in the war between Ukraine and Russia, sparking a conflict between two nuclear-armed powers.
“It means starting World War III,” said Mr Rubio, adding that “people need to understand what a no-fly zone means. It’s not a rule you pass and everyone has to abide by. It’s a willingness to to shoot down aircraft of the Russian Federation.”
Connecticut Democrat Senator Christopher S. Murphy agreed on “Fox News Sunday”: “I don’t think it’s in our interest, in Europe’s interest, to have the United States and Russia — the two biggest, best equipped nuclear superpowers – going head-to-head against each other.”
Murphy said he expected Congress to pass a $10 billion emergency bill this week to provide Ukraine with more weapons and humanitarian aid, in response to requests from Ukrainian officials for additional aid.
The $10 billion proposal includes $4.8 billion in additional funding for the Pentagon to cover the deployment of U.S. troops to NATO countries, provide increased intelligence and cybersecurity support, and supplement the weapons the Department of Defense already owns. to Ukraine, such as Stinger missiles. It also includes $4.25 billion in new funding for economic and humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, including the 1.5 million refugees who have already fled the bombed country.
“We must ensure that we strengthen Ukraine and provide as much lethal aid as possible,” Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst said on Fox News Sunday, adding that the United States must also bolster humanitarian aid, “to ensure that we are able to take care of the refugees pouring into Europe.”
There was one notable exception to the rejection of the no-fly proposal. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III said on NBC’s “Meet The Press”: “I wouldn’t take anything off the table.”
“It is wrong for us to hesitate, or for anyone to hesitate in the free world,” Manchin said of taking additional steps to try to deter Russian aggression.
The comments came a day after Mr Zelensky spoke to more than 300 members of Congress and pleaded with them to ban Russian oil imports and send more planes to his country.