EUBAM Advisory Board commends the resilience of Ukrainian and Moldovan border agencies

        On 30 June 2022, the 38th Advisory Board Meeting of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine took place in an online format. The event brought together representatives from 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 European Commission, the EU High-Level Advisory 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 solidarity with the people of Ukraine and respect to those who are defending the Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence from Russia’s unjustified military aggression. It also paid tribute to the Ukrainian and Moldovan border agencies for their outstanding response to those fleeing the war and effective control measures for ensuring the border security. The participants welcomed the inception of the EUBAM Phase 13 with enhanced mandate envisaging executive powers for border control and new activities on technical assistance and capacity building expressing their satisfaction with the continuous and active cooperation among the Mission and its Partner Services.

        The EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Jānis Mažeiks congratulated Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on obtaining the candidate status for membership of the European Union. “The future of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova as well as their citizens lies within the European Union. Moldovans and Ukrainians clearly are part of the European family”. Further, the EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova stated that “the EU absolutely condemns Russia’s war on Ukraine, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and urges Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”. He also highlighted “throughout EUBAM’s mandate, and activities we are all together contributing to anchor further EU core values and principles:  prosperity, stability and security of all, based on the values of democracy, rule of law and respect of human rights across borders”.

        Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine Matti Maasikas said: “Ukrainian and Moldovan border agencies demonstrated outstanding response supporting those escaping the war while at the same time ensuring border security. EUBAM has strongly supported its partner services in managing the refugee crisis caused by the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and now, under its enhanced mandate, EUBAM will take up executive powers for border control. The EU remains standing with Ukraine in solidarity with its people”.

        Mr. Victor Lapusneanu, Acting Head of Multilateral Cooperation Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova noted: “The war against Ukraine has certainly affected EUBAM’s work, requiring adaptation to the new circumstances. We are grateful to EUBAM for its prompt response to offer assistance in managing refugee flows. We welcome the signing on June, 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission, the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of Ukraine on the new EUBAM functions, which, together with FRONTEX support, will contribute to strengthening border management capacities, especially in this period of regional insecurity.”

        Mr. Serhii Saienko, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for the European Union and the NATO of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mentioned that the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine had already gained significant experience in cooperating and coordinating on the path of their European integration.  “Beyond the overarching goal to achieve EU membership, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will work on expanding, in addition to DCFTA-related issues, the agenda of dialogues between European Commission and its partners to new thematic areas such as transport, energy, digital transformation, green economy, education, justice and home affairs, strategic communications, healthcare, culture etc. We will be looking beyond the DCFTA framework to seek additional tools for deepening our economic integration as well as enhancing a strong, safe, and reliable connectivity with the EU”.

        Head of EUBAM, General Slawomir Pichor thanked all the participants for their valuable contributions and said: “The last seven months have been for sure the most challenging and complex ones since the Mission was set up back in 2005. Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has changed the security landscape in the region, generating new threats and challenges at the Moldova-Ukraine border. In this regard, I would like to commend the strength and resilience demonstrated by our Partners and ensure that EUBAM will continue to spare no effort to provide all-round assistance to the Ukrainian and Moldovan border agencies. Moreover, now, with enhanced mandate and increased staff, the Mission will be able to build up its support even further.”

        The Advisory Board Meeting will meet again in November 2022.