President Zelensky made a historic address to Canada’s parliament calling for a no-fly zone over Ukrainian Skies to protect his country from Russian.
“We are not asking for much … please imagine how important it is to close our airspace,” he said.
Zelensky, while delivering the first virtual address to the House of Commons, said he was grateful for Canada’s support since Russia’s invasion of his country, but then added “you all need to do more”.
Canada has the world’s third largest population of ethnic Ukrainians besides Ukraine and Russia. More than 1.3 million Canadians claim Ukrainian heritage.
“Justin, can you imagine, you or your children hearing these explosions? Can you imagine that?” Zelensky said.
“Imagine people laying siege to Vancouver … can you imagine the CN Tower in Toronto if it was hit by Russian bombs? I don’t wish that on anyone, but this is the reality we face.”
Zelensky then turned to his repeated request for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
“Can you imagine asking your friends to please close the skies?” he said. “How many more cruise missile have to fall on the cities … and they tell you to please hold on.”
Ukraine is not a member of Nato, an alliance of 30 member states that includes Canada.
Canada has promised to settle an “unlimited” number of displaced Ukrainians and has established a new visa system for that purpose. Trudeau has not ruled out an airlift of Ukrainian refugees.
Canada’s government has also imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian individuals and entities, including members of the Russian Security Council and a series of Russian billionaires close to President Vladimir Putin and his government.