Politics

Bipartisan lawmakers call on Biden to form ‘aid airlift into Ukraine’

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FIRST ON FOX: A bipartisan group of lawmakers called on President Biden to form an “international humanitarian aid airlift” into Ukraine amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war.

Reps. Young Kim, R-Calif., and Lou Correa, D-Calif., are leading the letter, which was first obtained by Fox News Digital. 

“We write to you today in support of establishing an international humanitarian aid airlift into Ukraine to deliver urgently needed supplies to the Ukrainian people,” they wrote. “As the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to kill civilians and destroy homes, it is necessary for the United States to act immediately to save lives.”

The letter was sent to Biden on Monday.

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Rep. Young Kim

“While we commend your Administration for taking action to approve Congressional funding for humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine and working with our allies and partners to impose sanctions on Russian President Putin and his government, more must be done to support the people of Ukraine and stop the war,” they continued.

The lawmakers wrote that Ukrainians “are trapped in bomb shelters, basements, and subways where they have limited access to food, water, and medicine, among other necessary supplies” and slammed Russia for attacking humanitarian corridors in the war-torn nation.

“As your Administration searches for more options, we strongly urge the consideration of a humanitarian airlift of urgently needed nonmilitary supplies organized and supported by the U.S.,” they wrote. “In response, Russia would be forced to either agree to supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid or threaten to shoot down planes carrying food and water to a war-torn country, which would further isolate Russia on the world stage and motivate stronger international action.”

Rep. Lou Correa leaving the Capitol on Feb. 28, 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Lou Correa leaving the Capitol on Feb. 28, 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Ukraine has long called for the implementation of a no-fly zone over the country as the war rages on, which U.S. officials warn would rope America into the conflict as Russia would view it as an act of war.

A strategic airlift, however, does not impose a no-fly zone, but the lawmakers on the letter conceded that their proposal for the airlift “does carry risks that planes could be shot down entering Ukrainian airspace.”

“Therefore, we urge your Administration to immediately reach out to nations viewed as nonthreatening to recruit pilots for these flights, including Brazil, India, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates,” they wrote. 

“Flights flown from countries viewed as non-hostile to Russia into Ukraine for humanitarian missions makes it difficult for President Putin to declare them as enemy combatants and motivates Russian forces to take strict measures to avoid targeting them.”

United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing on Jan. 27, 2021. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing on Jan. 27, 2021. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

The lawmakers also called on Biden to instruct United Nations (UN) Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield “to build support” for an international humanitarian airlift for Ukraine at the UN.

Joining Young and Correa on the letter are several of their colleagues, including Republican Reps. French Hill of Arkansas, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who was born in Ukraine.

“The U.S. has a moral responsibility to save lives where possible in Ukraine,” they wrote. “Establishing and organizing an international humanitarian aid airlift provides the U.S. and our allies and partners with a non-escalatory method of accomplishing this while countering Putin’s goal to starve the people of Ukraine.”

President Joe Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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The letter was also sent to several Biden administration officials, including Thomas-Greenfield, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Samantha Power.

Putin’s barbaric war continues to rage in Ukraine, creating carnage that has driven Biden to label his Russian counterpart a war criminal.

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