Fight against cross-border crime the focus of Odessa trilateral meeting

        At the sixth Tri-Lateral meeting of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to Moldova and Ukraine and the security services of both countries, held in Odessa today, the Head of EUBAM Mr Udo Burkholder paid tribute to the joint efforts of all parties to tackle cross-border crime.

        The Deputy Head of the General Directorate for fighting against corruption and organised crime of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Mr Hennadiy Kalachov, and the Deputy Head of the General Department for counterintelligence in economy and public authorities of the Information and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (MDISS), Mr Iurii Pricop, joined Mr Burkholder in commending the ongoing cooperation between EUBAM and both services in terms of information exchange, joint intelligence-led investigations and joint border control operations.

        Central to today’s trilateral meeting was an assessment of security threats currently on the Moldova-Ukraine border, as well as an evaluation of joint activities.

        Mr Burkholder emphasized the importance of partnership in tackling cross-border crime. “We can only tackle cross-border crime in a spirit of partnership, which is one of EUBAM’s core values,” he said. “Our positive working relationship with the security services of Moldova and Ukraine is key to the fight against crime and promotion of regional security.”

        Apart from the participation of both services in EUBAM training initiatives and the success of the most recent Joint Border Control Operation (PODOLIA), the parties highlighted the efforts of the two ‘working groups’, one to address illegal migration and trafficking in human beings, and the second to address illicit smuggling activities. These working groups, coordinated by EUBAM, provide the security services a mechanism through which they exchange information.

        Both the SSU and MDISS also played key roles in Task Force Arms, launched by EUBAM in March 2011 to strengthen efforts at counteracting the proliferation of weapons, radiological and nuclear material. EUBAM also created a mechanism for identification of drug consignments at Odessa and Illichevsk sea ports by setting up Task Force Drugs in September 2011.

        Looking to the future, Mr Burkholder stressed that all parties should continue to utilize all available tools in order to meet the challenge of tackling cross-border crime.