The Advisory Board for the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) acknowledged the Mission’s active role in the smooth running of the EU Solidarity Lanes Initiative in response to the blockade of the transport corridors from Ukraine, as well as delivering a series of profiled training events on topical cross-border crime threats.
The 39th Advisory Board Meeting took place on the 24th of November 2022 in an online format. It brought together representatives from Foreign Ministries, border, customs and law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the EU Delegations to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the European Commission, the EU High-Level Advisor’s Mission, the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine, the International Organization for Migration, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The Advisory Board expressed deep appreciation to the Ukrainian and Moldovan border and customs agencies for their tremendous service on the way to ensuring the border and economic security, especially at this critical time. The participants also recognised the Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities’ efforts to re-establish the rail freight transport corridor through the Basarabeasca-Berezino rail connection and welcomed the intention to implement joint control on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.
The EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova and the Chairman of the Advisory Board, Jānis Mažeiks expressed his compliments to EUBAM for having continued to conduct its mission and adapted its activities in these exceptional circumstances. “EUBAM did not only enhance its support to partners in the fight against organised crime, but also provided significant support in the response to the unprecedented inflows of refugees and assisted in the establishment and smooth conduct of the EU Solidarity Lanes. Finally, Ambassador Jānis Mažeiks commended the exceptional efforts from Ukrainian and Moldovan partners and encouraged them to make full use of EUBAM, including the possibility to request for specific capacity-building activities that could contribute further to border and customs management in the challenging operational context in which we are operating.
Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor, presented the Mission’s latest results and advancement in its action plan from June to October 2022, despite the inauspicious backdrop. „The Mission has done its best to move forward with the implementation of our working programme. But we have also been adjusting our activities to align them to the current situation and to the repercussions of this war which has redesigned our security and economic landscape,” he stressed.
Over the last five months, EUBAM supported its Moldovan and Ukrainian partners contributing to the facilitation of the Ukrainian agricultural export through alternative logistics routes leading from MD to the EU and beyond. EUBAM has also been acting as a catalyst for bringing the key stakeholders together to find solutions for ensuring cargo traffic fluidity and seeking innovative solutions to further facilitate agricultural exports from Ukraine via all feasible transport corridors.
In addition, to better cope with the changed security situation and increased risks at the Moldova-Ukraine border, EUBAM organised 14 training events for 261 officers serving in law enforcement agencies in both countries.
Deputy Director General of the Directorate for the European Union and the NATO of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Serhii Saienko emphasized that the challenges presented by Russia’s illegal, brutal and unjustified aggression pose many challenges, and EUBAM has been there to meet them. “We appreciate the considerable contribution of EUBAM to building capacities of Customs and Border Guards services of Ukraine and are grateful for the swift implementation of initiatives, such as the Solidarity Lanes, and are committed to creating safe and secure transit between the EU and Ukraine.”
Acting Head of Multilateral Cooperation Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Victor Lapusneanu noted: “We reiterate our gratitude to EUBAM for its continuous assistance and activity carried out in the last five months. The Republic of Moldova remains committed to supporting the Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter in our country, despite the hardships and challenges faced. At the same time, we continue to facilitate the export of Ukrainian agricultural products, actively contributing to EU Solidarity Lanes Initiative. We are working on strengthening the transport and transit capacity on Moldovan territory and would like to emphasize the urgent need for short to mid-term grant investments in this regard. “
The Advisory Board will meet again in June 2023.