Utah lawmakers moved by calls from Ukrainian president for more help, but still hesitant about enforcing a no-fly zone

Mar 16, 2022, 6:25 PM
Sen. Mitt Romney wants MiG jets supplied to Ukraine....
Sen. Mitt Romney called for the U.S. to supply MiG jets to Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Sen. Romney's YouTube channel.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Lawmakers from Utah are giving high praise to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after he urged Congress to do more to help them fight back against the Russian invasion.  However, they say they can’t fully support all of the Ukrainian president’s requests, yet.

Zelenskyy livestreamed the speech from Ukraine to an auditorium with both members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Representative John Curtis says lawmakers stood and applauded several times. They were especially moved when they saw video of war-torn portions of Ukraine.

Utah lawmakers moved by Ukrainian president

Curtis said, “It was moving to watch somebody in the thick of battle take a moment to express appreciation to the United States but to also tell us how much he needs our additional help.”

Curtis and other lawmakers say they plan on authorizing more money and resources to go to Ukraine, with some officials predicting Congress will quickly approve another $800 million in relief.  Senator Mitt Romney says the U.S. should be committed to doing everything it can to defend the people of Ukraine.

“That means getting the people of Ukraine the MiGs that they would need to fight and shoot down some of the Russian aircraft and get them the anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems on the ground,” Romney said.

He says it’s possible Russian President Vladimir Putin could see this as an escalation coming from the U.S., but Romney says it’s in the country’s and the world’s interest to protect freedom.

He said, “It’s time for him to be more worried about what we might do than for us to be worried about what he might do.”

No-fly zone a ‘bridge too far’

There is one requests, however, that very few lawmakers appear to be comfortable with, namely enforcing a no-fly zone over key areas of Ukraine.  ABC News reports some of these areas include nuclear reactor sites, which have already come under fire.  However, Representative Chris Stewart says that’s not a simple request.

“He’s not asking us to create a no-fly zone.  He’s asking us to go to war with Russia,” Stewart said.  “To enforce a no-fly zone, and as a former pilot I understand this, I think, pretty well, you have to take out Russian surface-to-air missiles, Russian radar sites and Russian command and control.”

Representative Blake Moore says Congress is in the very tough position of deciding when they would have no choice but to escalate the conflict with Russia.  He says none of the other countries that the U.S. has had conflicts with had nuclear weapons before, so they need to be especially careful about how they’d step into any possible clashes with a nuclear-armed Russia.

“We’ve got be able to, categorically, defend any ‘red line’ we put out there,” Moore said.  “I think that’s another big discussion that’s going on, right now, is what are those ‘red lines?’”


Related articles:

Zelenskyy tells US Congress, ‘We need you, right now’

Russia’s onslaught continues amid optimism over talks


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Utah lawmakers moved by calls from Ukrainian president for more help, but still hesitant about enforcing a no-fly zone