U.S. Embassy: Reforming SBU key step on path to NATO

Facebook/SecurSerUkraine

Facebook/SecurSerUkraine

Reforming the Security Service of Ukraine in line with the Euro-Atlantic principles will become Ukraine's key step on its path toward NATO, as per U.S. Charge d'Affaires Kristina Kvien.

Kvien earlier today met with People's Deputy Mariana Bezuhla who leads The Verkhovna Rada's efforts to reform the security agency, the U.S. Embassy's press service reported.

"Appreciate her leadership on the Rada's draft law on the SBU," the Embassy wrote on Facebook, quoting the envoy as saying.

"Reforming the Service in accordance with Euro-Atlantic principles and best practices is a key step on Ukraine's path toward NATO," Kvien said.

Background

On October 10, 2020, SBU Chairman Ivan Bakanov told the G7 ambassadors, heads of the NATO Delegation and the EU Advisory Mission for civilian security sector that complex reforms cannot be implemented quickly.

Bakanov presented the concept underlying the SBU reform program and spoke about the changes that are set to be achieved.

The reform, the SBU chief noted, will help the agency gain trust of Ukrainians and become accountable to citizens. In particular, this means a halt to the rudimentary practices of political engagement and corruption, while the SBU's main task will be about countering threats to Ukraine's national security.

Bakanov has expressed confidence that clearly defined tasks and competencies, demilitarization of units, as well as increased civil control will mark the beginning of the reform program and allow launching it before the new law on the SBU passes the Rada. At the same time, this will be the first step toward the introduction of a new flexible agency, which will lead to staff cuts, as well as an improvement in the working conditions and additional training for active employees and newly-hired operatives.

In January, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed at first reading a draft law amending legislation on the Security Service of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, commenting on the move, said the adoption of this law will pace up Ukraine's movement toward NATO.

Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko

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