Brussels (Brussels Morning) Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a new law allowing the military to reactivate reservists into active military service without the need to announce mobilisation, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The new measure, approved by the parliament in March, will make it significantly easier and faster for Ukraine to boost its armed forces in an emergency. Zelensky signed the law into effect amidst rising tensions with Russia, which has been deploying significant military forces along its borders with Ukraine in recent days.
“This will make it possible to quickly equip the military units of all defence forces with reservists, thereby significantly increasing their combat effectiveness during military aggression”, Zelensky said in a statement released by his office.
As ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region are piling up, with the government forces and the pro-Russian separatists blaming each other for the mounting aggression, European leaders are increasingly concerned that the build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border could result in a significant escalation of the conflict.
Despite repeated calls from EU leaders and US President Joe Biden for Russia to remove its troops, Russian officials claim the troops are there to help their nationals, meaning the separatists, in case of a full-blown attack by Ukrainian forces.
Zelensky personally called President Putin on Tuesday, inviting him to meet him in the Donbass region for talks on ending the prolonged conflict and easing the tensions between the two countries. In a recorded video invitation, Zelensky also urged the Western countries to give “clear signals” they would support the country in its standoff with Russia.
Seeking an end to the standoff, and fearing possible direct fighting with Russia, which has so far only acted through Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine, Zelensky embarked on a diplomatic offensive, seeking backers within the NATO alliance to sponsor Kiev’s membership bid. In recent weeks, he met with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.