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Would a no-fly zone trigger World War III? Here’s what local experts say

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NECN, March 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Congress to “close the sky” to prevent the Russian airstrikes that are devastating his country Wednesday, but President Joe Biden has said such a move could trigger World War III. Boston-based experts are split on whether it’s the right move.

The Biden administration has stopped short of providing a no-fly zone or the transfer of military jets from neighboring Poland as the U.S. seeks to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia. Instead, Biden announced Wednesday an additional $800 million in security assistance, saying the U.S. is sending more anti-aircraft, anti-armor weapons and drones to Ukraine. That would bring the total announced in the last week alone to $1 billion.

Harvard scholar Oleh Kotsyuba and Northeastern University professor Mai’a Cross weighed in Wednesday on whether they think implementing a no-fly zone would pave the road to another world war during NBC10 Boston’s weekly series, “Russia-Ukraine Q&A.”

“I do agree with President Biden’s take on this,” Cross said. “I think that he is being very careful about avoiding escalation precisely for this reason–because if things grow into involving a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, we’re not just talking about the plight of the Ukrainian people, but possibly the plight of people around the world because of the fact that these are nuclear powers.”

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