Zelenskiy Calls for International Monitoring of Belarusian Border

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on G7 leaders to undertake an international monitoring mission on the Belarusian border, citing fears that the Russian ally is likely to be drawn into the conflict in his country.

Zelenskiy’s request comes following an announcement from Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko that his country would join a joint regional military command with Russia, having already assisted Russia by allowing Belarus to be used for staging military attacks on Ukraine in its February 24th invasion.

With Russia continuing to target key Ukrainian infrastructure with missile strikes, the president warned there was still further room for escalation and requested further assistance with defense systems to repel what he called “Russia’s terror”.

“When Ukraine receives a sufficient quantity of modern and effective air defense systems, the key element of Russia’s terror, rocket strikes, will cease to work,” Zelenskiy said in a video-streamed address.

The comments come amid warnings that the current attacks by Russia on civilian targets may constitute a ware crime. Several western leaders and officials have suggested that Moscow’s campaign may fall foul of international law.

The White House national security council spokesman, John Kirby, said the US was working to facilitate the delivery of Nasams air defenses first announced in August. The ground-based air defense system is capable of engaging Russian cruise missiles. German publication Der Spiegel magazine reported on Tuesday that the German Iris-T air defense system had been successfully delivered to Ukraine.

G7 leaders offered no immediate response to Zelenskiy’s request for monitoring of the Belarusian border, issuing a statement saying they would “stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes”.