On 16 September 2020, the 34th Advisory Board Meeting of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine took place in videoconference format. Representatives of the Foreign Ministries, border, customs and law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the European Union Delegations to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the International Organization for Migration, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and United Nations Development Programme participated in the meeting.
The Advisory Board appreciated the progress achieved by the Mission and its Partner Services in the challenging situation emerged due to COVID-19 outbreak and encouraged the parties to continue working with the same dedication and high professionalism. EUBAM’s and its Partner Services’ sustained contribution to launching an inclusive dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol, as well as the support to the establishment of joint control along Moldova-Ukraine state border, together with the efforts in preventing, detecting and investigating cross-border crimes were among the most important achievements highlighted by the Advisory Board.
The European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, H.E. Peter Michalko welcomed and appreciated the commitment of the Moldovan and Ukrainian partners to the EU Border Assistance Mission, including during the COVID-19 situation and the complications it brought with it. “Over the next period, I hope and I trust that collectively we can mark progress in further rolling out the joint border control concept along the Moldova-Ukraine border, so that citizens on both sides can travel easier from one side to the other. EUBAM’s contribution towards offering and implementing EU expertise and best practices in border management is testimony to the European Union’s lasting partnership with both the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, on the one hand, and a clear expression of its will to further assist in resolving the Transnistrian issue, on the other.”
The European Union Ambassador to Ukraine, H.E. Matti Maasikas emphasized the particular importance of smooth and transparent border management cooperation in the current challenging times: “Joint border crossing points reduce waiting times for people and goods which is important also from an epidemiological point of view. They are effective in fighting cross border crime and smuggling. The EU has finalised the reconstruction of two border crossing points between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and provided substantial investment. Now, we encourage the Ukrainian side to also go ahead with agreed renovation works and provision of infrastructure in order to swiftly launch joint border operations, to the benefit of people and trade.”
Mr Gheorghe Leucă, State Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova appreciated EUBAM’s valuable expertise and assistance offered to the national authorities of both countries over the last ten months in achieving progress under all three pillars. „Despite the emerging difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mission continued to advance the work on supporting confidence building measures, implementing integrated border management and combating cross-border crime. We remain convinced that EUBAM represents a substantial tool for border management and risk analysis in line with the interests of the population of both countries, Moldova and Ukraine. Hence, we reconfirm our interest in working further with the Mission aimed at ensuring stability and security in the region.”
Mr. Serhii Saienko, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for the European Union and the NATO of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated „We cannot overestimate the Mission’s contribution to the infrastructure development of BCPs to be launched in October this year and increasing the technical equipment level of the Ukrainian-Moldovan borders. We highlight joint actions lead by EUBAM to counter illicit trafficking in arms /CBRN materials within the recently established Working Group and other violations during joint operations and investigations in the border areas.”
Head of EUBAM Mr Slawomir Pichor said: “I would like to express my deep respect and appreciation to all the professionals serving in the Moldovan and Ukrainian border and customs services for their excellent spirit of cooperation and passion demonstrated while carrying out their work during these challenging times, and also to extend my particular gratitude to the Governments of both hosting countries for their trust to continue our joint success story called EUBAM”.
The next meeting of the Advisory Board will be held in January 2021.