PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hundreds of lawmakers from across the country took part in a Zoom call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday. Among them were a number of legislators from our region.
A big focus of the call was combating Russian forces that have invaded Ukraine.
U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat who represents Pennsylvania's 2nd Congressional District, told our partners at NBC 10 the call was surreal.
"The juxtaposition of a regular work Zoom call, but then the person who's on the other end is facing those sorts of circumstances, was really quite striking," said Boyle.
"We are literally speaking to the president of a country who at any moment could lose his own life, and his country could fall."
He said Zelenskyy asked the U.S. to take a number of different measures to help them fend off the Russian invasion.
"Closing the airspace, providing planes, shutting Russia off economically from the rest of the world, boycotting all of its goods, cutting it off from Mastercard and VISA," Boyle detailed.
"If NATO is not going to enforce a no fly zone, he wants to have the planes to be able to do it himself. I'm supportive of that."
The representative said his district consists of one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the country, and he is in solidarity with their people. "It's hard to put into words the tragedy that we are facing," he said.
The Philadelphia metro region is reportedly home to 60,000 Ukrainian Americans.
Also on the call were Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and Sen. Chris Coons from Delaware. Toomey tweeted afterwards, "The U.S. must impose both an import ban on Russian energy and secondary sanctions to force other countries to do the same."
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