REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine's international partners are ready to step up sanctions against Russia in case it continues a further invasion of Ukraine.

He announced this in a video message on Russian aggression on April 20.

Read alsoUkraine's foreign minister asks EU to prepare new sectoral sanctions against Russia

"We are not afraid, because we have international partners' strong support. I have spoken to the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the President of the Council of Europe, and the Secretary General of NATO. They, like all other partners, are on our side. They perfectly see the real motives of Russia. They are ready to support us financially. They are ready to impose more and more tough sanctions and adopt tough resolutions. This is right, this is necessary, and Ukraine is sincerely grateful for all this," he said.

Zelensky also called on the international community to take more decisive action in the event of a Russian offensive.

"At the same time, our citizens really need to understand what else the world is ready for. How exactly and by whom exactly will you help us if someone again ignores the borders in the center of Europe? Do you understand that Ukraine and the whole world that believes in the power and inviolability of international law may need much more than diplomatic concern. We may all need determination. Is the world ready to solve complex problems? Will it stop hiding from unpleasant issues, including the UN Security Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Nord Stream 2, in the event of large-scale aggression by the Russian Federation?" he wondered.

Zelensky says that Ukrainians "need clear signals that on the eighth year of the war, a country that is a shield for Europe at the cost of the lives of its people will receive support not just from partners, from rostrums, but from players of one team, directly on the field, shoulder to shoulder."

Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders

  • Russia late in March 2021 deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to Ukraine's Armed Forces. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills.
  • Enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
  • According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian Federation is trying to put pressure on Ukraine by increasing the number of troops along the border.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense said they were concerned about the escalation of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
  • The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.