Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that he would consider countries imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine as participating in the conflict.
“We will immediately consider them as participants in a military conflict, and it doesn't matter members of which organizations they are,” Putin said in a meeting with flight crewmembers of Russian national airlines.
“It is impossible to do it, on the very territory of Ukraine, it's possible only from the territory of some neighboring states. But any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in an armed conflict,” Putin added.
More background: President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have repeatedly pleaded with NATO and Western officials to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that a no-fly zone is not an option being considered by the alliance.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that the establishment of a no-fly zone in Ukraine by the United States and its NATO allies could lead to a “full-fledged war in Europe,” but added that Washington would continue to work with its allies to provide Ukrainians with the means to defend themselves from Russian aggression.