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State Department: US planes will not be flying over Ukrainian skies

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2024 4:51 AM 2 min read
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, United States, April 1, 2024. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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U.S. planes will not be flying over Ukrainian skies to engage with Russian attacks, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press conference on April 16.

In response to a question about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's statements calling for Western allies to defend Ukraine in the same way that they defended Israel during a massive Iranian aerial attack, Miller stated that the U.S. relationship with Israel is "entirely different" than that of Ukraine.

Iran carried out a massive attack on Israel on April 14, launching 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles, according to Israel's Defense Forces (IDF). Israel and its allies, including the U.S., France, and the U.K., downed the vast majority of the drones and missiles before they even reached Israeli territory.

President Zelensky quickly condemned the attack and urged Western allies to defend Ukraine in the same way they protected Israel.

"We have an entirely different relationship with Ukraine and Israel in that our relationship with Israel goes back decades and – in terms of a security partnership," Miller said. "Ukraine is just in a different position...We are not in armed military conflict with Russia, which is what it would require for U.S. planes to be in the skies over Ukraine engaging with Russian attacks. And we are not going to be in direct armed conflict with Russia."

Miller emphasized that President Joe Biden has been clear that the U.S. will not engage in direct armed conflict with Russia but remains committed to providing further air defense systems and other financial and defense aid to Ukraine in the future.

Despite this, U.S. assistance for Ukraine has been effectively blocked for months, leading to the rapidly deteriorating situation on the battlefield.

While the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in February, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, the key player in advancing the aid bill, has said he instead plans to hold a vote on four separate bills in his chamber this week.

Speaker Johnson advances aid bills, but time running out as Ukraine’s supplies dry up
After six grueling months, the U.S. House of Representatives may finally be preparing to vote on a new aid package for Ukraine. House Speaker Mike Johnson said on April 16 that following new rounds of talks with House Republicans, he planned to advance three separate aid packages for Ukraine,

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