AUSTIN (KXAN) — U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat that represents Austin, said after an hour-long conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky Saturday morning, he supports sending fighter jets to Ukraine.

Rep. Doggett during a video conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Rep. Doggett during a video conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Courtesy Office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett)

“Without engaging U.S. pilots in direct conflict with Russians, we can facilitate Ukrainian access to aircraft with which Ukrainian pilots are already trained and which are held in other Eastern European countries,” Doggett said in a statement after the call.

The video call with Zelensky, who has vowed to stay in Ukraine’s capital and fight, was with the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the United States.

Doggett said the comments from Zelensky were “powerful” and that it was made clear during the call that more Ukrainian civilians have been killed, targeted and tortured.

Doggett noted that because Russia controls the skies over Ukraine, they can continue to inflict harm on Ukrainian civilians.

“In addition to the trade sanctions bill that I have authored and which the House can pass next week, I support getting Ukraine access to the fighter jets needed to confront Putin in the skies,” Doggett said.

Zelensky had asked NATO to create a no-fly zone over the country but that request was officially denied Friday.

NATO warned such a move could provoke widespread war in Europe with nuclear power Russia, the organization’s top civilian official said.