Sen. Marco Rubio, the co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, detailed the one action the U.S. or NATO could take that would most likely kick off World War III during a Sunday interview.
In an interview with ABC News’ “This Week”, host George Stephanopoulos asked the Florida Republican to respond to calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the U.S. and NATO to establish a “no-fly zone” over Ukrainian skies.
“You know, the — look, a no-fly zone has become a catchphrase. I’m not sure a lot of people fully understand what that means,” Rubio began.
“That means flying AWACs 24 hours a day. That means the willingness to shoot down and engage Russian airplanes in the sky. That means, frankly, you can’t put those planes up there unless you’re willing to knock out the anti-aircraft systems that the Russians have deployed, and not just in Ukraine, but in Russia and also in Belarus,” the senator noted further.
“So basically a no-fly zone is — if people understood what it means, it means World War III. It means starting World War III,” he added.
“So, I think there are a lot of things we can do to help Ukraine protect itself, both from airstrikes and missile strikes, but I think people need to understand what a no-fly zone means,” Rubio continued.
“It’s not just — it’s not some rule you pass that everybody has to oblige by. It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircrafts of the Russian Federation, which is basically the beginning of World War III,” he said.
“We would provide the fighter jets to Poland, other Eastern European nations. They would send the jets they now have to Ukraine, Do you support that?” Stephanopoulos asked in response.
“I do. If that can be done, that would be great. I do have concerns about a couple things. And that is sort of, you know, can they actually fly them given the amount of anti-aircraft capability that the Russians possess and continue to have deployed in the region?” the senator said.
“By the way, yesterday was a terrible day for the Russian air force. They’re losing — they don’t have air control either [yet]. But, generally speaking, it’s something I’d be supportive of, and we should do what we can to help them,” he said.