On 25 June 2021, the 36th Advisory Board Meeting of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine was convened in an online mode. 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 International Organization for Migration, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and United Nations Development Programme participated in the meeting.
Among the main topics on the agenda of the meeting were confidence-building between two banks of the Nistru River, integrated border management, and prevention of cross-border crime. Following the discussion, the Advisory Board acknowledged the achievements EUBAM and its partner services made at the backdrop of still-developing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time the Board welcomed the recent decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to modernise priority border crossing points, as well as the agreement between the presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on the creation of a new transport corridor between Kyiv and Chisinau.
European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Peter Michalko chaired the EUBAM Advisory Board Meeting and reflected on the achievements EUBAM and its partner services made, highlighting immense progress in the cooperation between the partner services. “The areas covered by EUBAM in support of the partner services are relevant and of strategic importance, in interest of both the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine: support to the Transnistrian conflict settlement, the integrated border management including establishment of the joint border control along entire joint border, and the fight against trans-border crime. The EU continues to be close partner and friend of both Moldova and Ukraine, offering its support through EUBAM but also through other instruments, like projects that provide financing for building of infrastructure at the border crossing points,” Ambassador Peter Michalko said.
The Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Mr. Rémi Duflot, said: “Close cross-border cooperation between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, two close partners of the European Union, is of key importance, and in the interest of both of them: it would facilitate trade and people-to-people contacts and contribute to a high level of security. To achieve this, it is essential to start carrying out joint border operations at the agreed border crossing points between the two countries. I encourage the Ukrainian side to deliver the agreed renovation works and infrastructure. We stand ready to support such efforts, including through the EU Border Assistance Mission.”
Mr. Gheorghe Leucă, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova appreciated EUBAM’s contribution to the border management and risk analysis, at the same time, acknowledging the efforts of the Mission in supporting confidence building measures, implementing integrated border management and combating cross-border crime. Mr. Leucă stated, “We emphasize the primary focus of the ABM as the review of the achieved results in the last 5 months and assessment of the way forward in the extension of the joint border control. We remain convinced that we should more actively extend the joint border control, especially on the central part of the Moldovan- Ukrainian border, in compliance with the 2017 Agreement and the provisions of the Road Map 2019-2022. We encourage EUBAM to continue the result-oriented approach in order to achieve tangible progress thus contributing to ensuring stability and security in the region.”
Mr. Serhii Saienko, Deputy Director of the Directorate for the European Union and NATO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, noted the importance of the EUBAM’s contribution in strengthening the institutional capacities of Customs and Border Guard partner services of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, as well as in enhancing their cooperation to respond to challenges of a border nature. Mr. Saienko mentioned: “Ukraine highlights EUBAM’s visibility in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova border area. That encourages and helps both countries to combine efforts to address challenges, ensure the efficiency of the integrated border management and to increase the effectiveness of countering cross-border crime.”
The Head of EUBAM, Mr. Slawomir Pichor said: “The last five months EUBAM did its best to enhance operational capabilities of our partner services through expertise, mentoring, and various capacity building events. Taking into account the recent positive developments in the epidemiological domain, I would like to express hope that the next period will bring even more opportunities for new joint initiatives and in person interaction. In the meantime, let me reiterate EUBAM’s readiness to make every effort to support the border security and economic development in the region and to remain committed to the Moldovan and Ukrainian partners.”
The 37th Advisory Board Meeting will be convened in November 2021.