Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration Mike McFaul said Monday on MSNBC’s “Katy Tur Reports” that he did not support a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine because it would mean the United States was going to war with Russia.

McFaul said, “I think a no-fly zone is the wrong move. I support the president of the United States on that. Let’s just get rid of this euphemism’ no-fly zone. Let’s call it for what it is. It is war. If we try to implement a no-fly zone, that means that an American pilot has to shoot down a Russian pilot. And if we do that, that is a declaration of war. Vladimir Putin has been clear that that is the way he sees it. If the American people want to go to war with Russia, I think it would be a mistake, but if we’re prepared to do it, then we should have a vote in the U.S. Congress because the Congress is supposed to declare war. That is what we need to do first.”

McFaul added, “We should stop calling it a no-fly zone, and we should start calling it a declaration to go to war, and I don’t think that that is the right thing to do right now. Everything short of that I support 100%. Every weapon system on the planet that we can send to them, but I do not think that it is smart to send American soldiers to fight Putin soldiers.”

Tur said, “What about this idea of a limited no-fly zone, one that protects humanitarian routes?”

McFaul said, “If you could get a guarantee blessed by the United Nations with Russia and Ukraine all together that we all recognize those corridors as being free and safe, then we should consider it. But we haven’t done that yet. So I just think that — I don’t think that we should go to war with Russia right now. Everything else, yes.”

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