Makeiev: Western allies closing Ukraine’s sky is not declaring war on Russia

June 5,2024 423
Makeiev: Western allies closing Ukraine’s sky is not declaring war on Russia

Ukraine’s Western allies will not cross a critical “red line” and “declare war on Russia” if they close part of Ukrainian airspace for their own air defense, said Oleksii Makeiev, Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany, as reported by Die Zeit.

“From the perspective of international law, this idea is no different from the military support that Ukraine is already receiving… The only rule that remains effective is the one enshrined in the UN Charter: In the case of aggression, the country under attack has the right to self-defense, and other countries have an absolute right to assist it in this, with no restrictions except for the use of weapons of mass destruction,” Makeiev said.

Third countries are helping the country under attack, which ‘certainly does not give the aggressor the right to now attack them. There is no such right at all,’ the ambassador added.

The concept of a no-fly zone was initially discussed during the first weeks of the full-scale invasion, but at that time, international partners were firmly opposed. However, the situation shifted after a significant missile and drone attack by Iran on Israel in April demonstrated that implementing such measures could be both feasible and effective.“Western states shot down the same Iranian drones with which Russia kills Ukrainians every day,” Makeiev said.

Over the past two years, there have been many cases when a categorical ‘no’ to certain assistance to Ukraine ultimately resulted in decisions. “If we stop now and refuse further steps, it will become obvious that the path we have taken so far has led to nowhere, and we will find ourselves nowhere. Russia’s response to this has already been voiced: ‘Russia’s borders do not end anywhere.’… From a legal point of view, everything is clear. Everything else is a question of political will, leadership, and accepting the fact that Europe is already in a state of war,” the ambassador emphasized.

Makeiev emphasized that without reliable aerial protection, the efforts of Ukrainians and their allies to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and develop defense enterprises within Ukraine—aimed at enabling the country to produce its own weapons—are effectively undermined.

On June 4, the Chairwoman of the Defense Committee of the German Parliament, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, commented on concerns about possible escalation. “Russia will lose one plane that was heading towards Ukraine to carry out strikes and kill Ukrainians,” replied the politician when asked what would happen if a Russian fighter jet were shot down by Western weaponry in Russian airspace.

Cover: Die Welt

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