U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, poses with European Council President Charles Michel during an extraordinary EU foreign ministers meeting at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, March 4, 2022. AP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on NATO countries to stop the Russian onslaught on his country by imposing a no-fly zone.
Western leaders have refused for fear of triggering a wider war in Europe. Deploying fighter jets over Ukraine could ``in current circumstances'' be considered as ``NATO's entry into the war and therefore risk World War III,'' Michel said in an interview with the public broadcaster France Inter.
Michel denied that economic sanctions against Russia constitute ``a war of the EU or NATO against Russia.'' Russian President Vladimir Putin has linked the West's economic punishment for his invasion of Ukraine to ``declaring war'' on Moscow.
Michel said European and American allies imposed sanctions ``to create pressure and hurt the (Russian) regime'', not the people.