Washington, Mar 5 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took the opportunity of a Zoom call Saturday with members of the United States Congress to ask for help obtaining additional warplanes to combat the invading Russians, lawmakers who took part in the conversation said.
“President Zelenskyy made a desperate plea for Eastern European countries to provide Russian-made planes to Ukraine,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
“These planes are very much needed. And I will do all I can to help the administration to facilitate their transfer,” the New York Democrat said.
Zelenskyy’s idea is for Washington to authorize Poland and Romania to send Soviet-era planes to Ukraine “and for the U.S. to compensate by giving more advanced planes to those two NATO allies,” Rep. Brad Sherman said on Twitter.
That option, the California Democrat wrote, would be “much safer than a ‘no fly zone’ as it doesn’t involve Americans killing Russians.”
NATO has already formally rejected the idea of a no-fly zone and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Moscow would view any foreign military intervention as an act of war.
The Ukrainian leader also urged the legislators to press President Joe Biden to impose a ban on imports of Russian oil, according to Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut.
“He asked that we ban Russian oil imports, a move I strongly support,” she said in a tweet.
A number of prominent Republicans and Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have expressed support for barring imports of oil from Russia, but the Biden administration is concerned that such a move would drive up gasoline prices in the US without having much impact on Moscow.
Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said that 280 of the 435 members of the Senate and House of Representatives took part in the hour-long call. EFE bpm/dr