A Democrat from West Virginia is willing to ban specific international air travel and oil imports between the United States and Eastern Europe.
Sen. Joe Manchin is open to declaring a no-fly zone above Ukraine, and banning Russian oil imports, due to escalating tension between the two countries.
“To take anything off the table, thinking we might not be able to use things because we have already taken them off the table, is wrong—I would take nothing off the table,” he said in a video shared on YouTube.
Manchin claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not ask for U.S. military assistance and wanted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to stop flight routes passing over the border.
“Zelensky was very clear, he says we do not need you to fight our fight, we do not need you to fly our planes or fly your planes into our war zone—we need the planes, and we can fly ourselves, and we have them on the border,” he said.
The senator is concerned that letting Kyiv easily fall into Russian hands could have broader security implications for Europe.
“This is not the Russian people’s war, this is Putin’s war and his quest for whatever it may be,” he said.
“For us to hesitate or for any one to hesitate in the free world is wrong, and he [Zelensky] said that—if Ukraine falls, Europe may fall.”
The Democrat described the Russia-Ukraine conflict as “surreal” due to many “slaughtered” patriots.
“[Ukrainian people are] willing to withstand all of this and fight back and all he asks for was basically, ‘Just help me I will fight my own fight, just give me the tools to do it,'” he said.
Manchin, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is willing to consider banning Russian oil and gas in the United States despite soaring fuel pump prices.
“Look at the gas now $4 [a gallon] … inflation has already wreaked havoc on it now,” he said according to Fox News. “We are gonna say we are gonna sit back now because we are afraid it is gonna go up a little bit more? It might go up anyway … [and] I am wanting to at least do something.”
He proposed increasing U.S. oil and gas production to stop the nation from relying too heavily on the world’s largest country.
“We are going to ramp up our energy, produce the oil, natural gas [and] build the pipelines,” he said according to the broadcaster.