Zelenskyy condemns 'weak' Nato over no-fly zone warning deaths will be on their hands

5 March 2022, 09:11 | Updated: 5 March 2022, 15:42

Zelenskyy has criticised Nato for its lack of action.
Zelenskyy has criticised Nato for its lack of action. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned Nato for refusing to introduce a no-fly zone, saying it will be partially responsible for those killed amid the conflict.

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Mr Zelenskyy said in a late night address on Friday that he felt the West needed to do more to defend Ukraine, criticising Nato for its refusal to impose a no-fly zone.

"All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your lack of unity," he said.

"The alliance has given the green light to the bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages by refusing to create a no-fly zone."

He had previously appealed to Nato to set up the no-fly zone on February 24.

However, Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and other Nato leaders have all been adamant that they cannot actively get involved in the fighting.

They have warned that to do so could provoke widespread war in Europe with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Mr Zelenskyy referred to the Budapest Memorandum - the 1994 security guarantees given to Ukraine in exchange for the withdrawal of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.

He said: "All that the alliance was able to do today was to pass through its procurement system 50 tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine. Perhaps so we could burn the Budapest Memorandum.

"You will not be able to pay us off with litres of fuel for the litres of our blood, shed for our common Europe."

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previously said in denying Ukraine's request: "We are not part of this conflict.

"We have a responsibility as Nato allies to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine because that would be even more dangerous, more devastating and would cause even more human suffering."

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It comes as Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun told LBC on Saturday morning: "What the West is doing is not enough."

She added: "It does feel like we are left alone to fight in this and we're betrayed by the West right now with our children being killed."

Ms Sovsun also referred to the 1994 set of security guarantees, saying: "We were given those assurances.

"If we had the nuclear weapon as of now, the situation would have been completely different.

"But we trusted the West to fulfil the promise and now we're just hearing excuses as to why it can't be done."

Nato has instead sent weapons, medical supplies and other military equipment to Ukraine as a way to help its close partner without getting directly involved.