The Head of the SBGS of Ukraine met Fabrice Leggeri, Frontex Executive Director.

27 of February 2016 17:34

Yesterday the Head of the SBGS of Ukraine during his 2-day business trip to Poland had a meeting with Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

Yesterday the Head of the SBGS of Ukraine during his 2-day business trip to Poland had a meeting with Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

Colonel General Viktor Nazarenko made a general survey of the situation at the state border of Ukraine and introduced new approaches concerning border security strengthening taking into account situation in the East of Ukraine in general and in the ATO zone and at the administrative line with the Crimea in particular.

Victor Nazarenko informed Fabrice Leggeri about the threats related to the aggression of the Russian Federation that does not stop its attempts to expand the destabilization zone on Ukrainian territory and continues fire attacks of Ukrainian positions including the ones where border guards carry out their duties.

According to the report of the Head of the SBGS 67 border guards have been killed, 406 servicemen have been wounded and 5 persons are considered to be missing while performing their tasks. A lot of border guard facilities and engineering equipment have been destroyed or captured during battles and armed confrontation.

The leader of Ukrainian border agency stressed that Ukraine is implementing the Package of the Minsk agreements and the President Petro Poroshenko's Peace plan as to settlement of the conflict in Donbas region. He emphasized that the main missions of the SBGS are to reestablish control over the militants-controlled border section (409,3 km), to struggle against sabotage-reconnaissance groups and to combat trafficking in weapons, ammunition and goods to the temporary occupied territory.

Victor Nazarenko informed Fabrice Leggeri about system reformation of the SBGS, a special designation law enforcement agency, being a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, within the framework of general reformation of security and defense sector of Ukraine.  He added that the service follows the European model of border protection which is aimed at law-enforcement functions fulfillment.

They also discussed the process of strategic development, plans for near and middle future, number of  approach papers and program documents which were worked out last year, including those drafted with participation of EUAM, EUBAM experts and general public, and already ratified by the government of Ukraine. The matter concerns the Service development Strategy up to the year 2020, The Concept of National Integrated Border Management and  State program  on state border infrastructure development and reconstruction.  The Head of the SBGS reported that border guards had completely performed the tasks which were assigned for the year 2015 by Action Plan on Liberalization of EU Visa Regime for Ukraine. Biometric Access Control Systems were installed at 104 BCPs for performing first line checks and at 68 BCPs for conducting second line checks. 39 BCPs are connected to INTERPOL’s databases.  In accordance with the requirements of the EU and  Frontex, Integrated Risk Management System was implemented. In order to further introduce the European standards of border control a number of pilot projects, for example, at “Zhuliany” and “Gostomel” BCPs were realized.

The situation at the common border of Ukraine and the EU member states was discussed during the meeting. As it was mentioned, it remains stable and controlled. Possible threats such as illegal migration, trafficking in goods, drugs and weapons smuggling were analyzed.

During the discussion it was pointed out that a great part of illegal migrants use Ukraine as a transit country. However, Ukrainian border guards detained only 0,1% (1609 people) of all illegal aliens who were detected at the EU external border last year.

It was highlighted that drugs smuggling decreased significantly, but cigarettes remain the main type of contraband.  Approximately 2,5 mln packs of cigarettes were seized at the western border last year, and it is half as much as in 2014.

The parties discussed the directions of further cooperation aiming at the enhancement of joint operational border protection to counteract terrorist activity, illegal migration and smuggling; conducting joint operations; realizing key principles and instruments of integrated border management, such as border checks at joint BCPs; joint risks analysis and enlargement of contact points network.

Victor Nazarenko expressed his gratitude to Frontex for their cooperation and participation in joint operations and mentioned that the Agency is the platform for experience exchange, obtaining knowledge and skills, and border security strengthening at the common border.

At the end of the meeting the parties signed the Cooperation Plan for 2016-2018.

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