Mar 6, 2022 - World

Debate over no-fly zone dominates Sunday shows

Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) did not rule out the possibility of supporting the establishment of a no-fly zone above Ukraine during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, saying, "I would take nothing off the table."

Why it matters: Although Ukrainian officials have repeatedly asked for a no-fly zone amid Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries have ruled out the possibility for fear of triggering a war between the alliance and Russia.

What they're saying: Manchin said he understood the risks involved, but that "to take anything off the table thinking we might not be able to use things because we've already taken them off the table, is wrong."

  • "I would take nothing off the table," he added.
  • Manchin also briefly discussed plans for the U.S. to resupply Poland with American fighter jets if Poland provides warplanes to Ukraine. "We need to backfill that," Manchin said.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took a different stance during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, arguing that establishing a no-fly zone would be "starting World War III."

  • He said calls for the NFZ had become a "catchphrase," but cautioned, "I'm not sure a lot of people fully understand what that means."

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate, echoed Rubio during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," saying a no-fly zone "would be World War III," per Politico.

Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that she was "not in favor of a no-fly zone right now."

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), in a Sunday interview on Full Court Press, responded to a question about whether he'd be willing to put U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine, saying: "You should always keep all your options open. … I don’t think you should ever take it off the table.”

Go deeper: Why Ukraine wants a no-fly zone — but is unlikely to get one

Go deeper