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Imposing a no-fly zone would mean joining the conflict – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said any country which imposes a no-fly zone over Ukraine will be considered to have joined the war.

“Any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in an armed conflict by that country,” the Russian President said a meeting with flight attendants working for Russian air companies.

In a military context, a no-fly zone is an area where aircraft are banned from entering to prevent attacks or surveillance. But it has to be enforced by military means – that is, by potentially shooting down planes.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has blamed the refusal to impose a no-fly zone on Nato “weakness” and “disunity”.

Nato has said it would lead to a dangerous escalation of the war to many more countries.

Vladimir Putin has said he has no plans to declare martial law in Russia.

The Russian president said that step would only be taken in “instances of external aggression, in defined areas of military activity”.

“But we don’t have such a situation and I hope we won’t have one,” he said.

He said there are other special emergency states which can be used in the case of a “large-scale external threat” – but that he has no plans to introduce these either.

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