Washington, Mar 22 (PTI) A group of 20 eminent American lawmakers on Tuesday urged US President Joe Biden to reach out to countries like India, Brazil, Egypt and the UAE to hire pilots for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine as Russia considers them non-hostile.
The US has a moral responsibility to save lives where possible in Ukraine, the lawmakers said in a letter to Biden. They said that establishing and organising an international humanitarian aid provides the US and its allies and partners with a non-escalatory method of accomplishing this while countering the Russian goal to starve the people of Ukraine.
Led by Democratic lawmakers like Congresswoman Lou Correa and Congressman Young Kim, the lawmakers wrote that the previous agreements between Russia and Ukraine to guarantee humanitarian corridors for aid delivery into Ukraine have so far proven to be unreliable and inconsistent at distributing aid to the hardest hit areas of the country, especially as Russian shelling continues to destroy roads and endanger transportation routes.
Further, US intelligence warns that the Ukrainian capital Kyiv could run out of food and water in days, they said. The lawmakers strongly urged Biden to consider a humanitarian airlift of urgently needed non-military supplies organised and supported by the US. “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,” they said.
“This proposal 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 non-threatening to recruit pilots for these flights, including Brazil, India, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates,” they said. “Flights flown from countries viewed as non-hostile to Russia into Ukraine for humanitarian missions makes it difficult for President (Vladimir) Putin to declare them as enemy combatants and motivates Russian forces to take strict measures to avoid targeting them,” the lawmakers wrote.
In the letter, the lawmakers urged Biden to instruct US Ambassador to the United Nations Lina Thomas-Greenfield to build support at the United Nations for an expanded international humanitarian airlift into Ukraine. “This will ensure a continuous humanitarian aid corridor by air to address urgent needs from Ukrainians for basic supplies,” they added.
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