Tackling border security challenges in Ukraine

  • 25 Feb. 2016 - 26 Feb. 2016
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  • Last updated: 21 Mar. 2016 10:15

Border security is a pressing issue for Ukraine, given the current security crisis in the country. Promoting good governance in the State Border Guard Services is one aspect of the problem that needs to be addressed. Experts from public institutions, international organisations, academia and non-governmental organisations gathered to discuss emerging border security challenges at a NATO-sponsored workshop in Kyiv on 25-26 February 2016.

Ukrainian and international experts and officials discuss the border security challenges Ukraine is facing.

Border security of Ukraine shall be considered in a wider context – as border security of the eastern flank of NATO,” underlined Yehor Bozhok, Acting Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO.

Many participants emphasised the importance of peace in Ukraine for Euro-Atlantic security. “Current developments in the East are also a vivid example that NATO’s partnerships are key to Euro-Atlantic security,” added Michael Gaul, Senior Advisor in NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division.

Preventing and fighting corruption – one of the top cross-cutting priorities of the Ukrainian authorities –was an important topic of discussion. Viktor Chumak, a member of the Committee for Prevention and Fighting Corruption of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, stressed, “Corruption is one of the main enemies of Ukraine. Therefore, an effective anti-corruption policy is a pre-condition for structural reforms and enhancing social trust in the country.”

“There is a need to create a strong civilian oversight and democratic control over the State Border Guard Service,” said Alexander Vinnikov, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine. Participants agreed that a new interdepartmental approach and openness towards international cross-border cooperation should be enhanced by the exchange of information, know-how and best practices on increasing integrity and promoting good governance.

The First Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Vasyl Servatiuk, emphasised that the fight against corruption on the border cannot be one-sided. “The often systematic corruption at borders underlines the importance of implementing an efficient and enduring system of anti-corruption fighting, which will help the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to make fundamental reforms and to create a new border guard image – free of corruption.”

The Advanced Research Workshop on “Addressing Security Risks at the Ukrainian Border through Best Practices on Good Governance – Sources and Counter Measures” was jointly organised by the Kosciuszko Institute (Poland) and the Ukrainian Institute for Public Policy.

Sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, the event has provided a foundation for deeper cooperation on border security between the SPS Programme and Ukraine. Ukraine is the most active partner and the largest beneficiary of the Programme with more than 36 ongoing activities.