The Head of EUBAM: “We will support Ukrainian border agencies as much as we can”

        “Today, our Ukrainian partners make tremendous efforts to ensure the border and economic security at this critical time. We will continue supporting you as much as we can,” says Slawomir Pichor, Head of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, after meetings in Kyiv and Odesa.

        In Kyiv, the Head of EUBAM met with Maryna Mykhailenko, the Director of Department General for the EU and NATO from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Head of Mission reaffirmed continuous solidarity with the people of Ukraine and respect for those who courageously have faced Russia’s unjustified military aggression for almost one year. He informed Madam Director about the EUBAM’s actions in response to the current security situation and the programming of the Mission’s future operations. Madam Director appreciated the EUBAM’s active role in supporting refugees fleeing from war and the border control agencies in managing the emergency as well as the good running of export of Ukrainian agricultural products through the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes. She gave an overview of Ukraine’s agenda and priorities as an EU candidate country.

        The meeting with Vadym Melnyk, Director of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, focused on excise tax frauds in the face of the continued war and, more specifically, the illicit tobacco trade. Ultimately, the participants identified specific areas for further cooperation to tackle offences affecting economic security.

        In the agenda in Kyiv were also meetings with the EU Ambassador to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas, and a.i. Deputy Chief of the IOM Mission in Ukraine, Steven Rogers, who were briefed about EUBAM’s work on the ground and developments in the mission area.

        In Odesa, the Head of EUBAM met with the First Deputy Head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Borys Voloshenkov and the Head of the Southern Regional Directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Major General Serhi Mul. The Ukrainian partners talked about reinforced border enforcement measures and briefed the operational results of the activities to ensure border protection. The parties also discussed the EUBAM’s support in response to the current threats in border management and security to withstand the challenges caused by the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine.