During a virtual meeting with 300 Congress members, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the U.S. government to send more fighter jets and ban all oil imports from the Kremlin.
At the March 5 private Zoom call, Zelenskyy also pleaded with federal legislators to enact a no-fly zone over Ukraine as the war rages on in the air, land and sea, according to The New York Times.
The virtual meeting was the first time President Zelenskyy spoke with members from both chambers of Congress, according to The New York Times. After expressing appreciation for U.S. support systems such as weaponry, the President pled for additional measures to be taken.
Zelenskyy reportedly claimed that Russia would not have invaded if the the Biden administration and European governments’ newly imposed sanctions had been implemented earlier.
President Zelenskyy told Congress that this could be the last time legislators see the President alive. He told EU members the same thing at a meeting in February, according to the NYT.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 5, 2022
Congressional hesitancy to implement no-fly zones over Ukraine is due to concerns that the policy would escalate tensions between NATO and Russia, the NYT reported.
While aiming toward air superiority is crucial for the Ukrainian President, so is convincing U.S. lawmakers to ban all Russian oil imports, according to the NYT. (RELATED: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Stops Presentation To Ask Sen. Rick Scott To Mute Himself)
The U.S. imports an average of over 20.4 million barrels of oil products each month from the Kremlin, according to a Reuters report.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is banning the import of crude oil from Russia. The Biden Administration is currently weighing the option to follow suit, according to The Washington Post.
Federal lawmakers have introduced the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which would prohibit the U.S. from importing oil and petroleum products from Russia. (RELATED: Western Companies Are Happy To Cut Ties With Russia, But Stay Silent on Uyghur Genocide)
NOW: @SenMarkey calling to cut off the US from Russian oil, to release barrels from US strategic reserve.
“We have a moral moment here.”
— victoria price (@victoriapricetv) March 5, 2022
Oil giants BP and Shell have recently stopped doing business with Russia. Dozens of major corporations across an array of industries have distanced themselves from the Russian Federation in a variety of ways as well.