Frontex and Moldova host an international conference on Ukraine and border security – Ukraine
Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and the Moldovan authorities brought together European and international partners to discuss the evolving situation at the borders following the outbreak of the unwarranted invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
In the aftermath, more than 6 million Ukrainian nationals have entered the EU since Russia’s unprovoked invasion in February. Ukraine’s neighboring countries are particularly affected by those fleeing war and crossing the border.
“We are bringing together the relevant authorities from the EU, Ukraine and Moldova to discuss the challenges posed by the war and the strengthening of border management in the context of an unprecedented security crisis”, declared the Deputy Executive Director of Frontex, Lars Gerdes.
“Together we are protecting Europe, shoulder to shoulder, on the spot,” he added.
Opening the conference, Moldovan Interior Minister Ana Revenco underlined the need to consolidate the European Union’s extended border and anticipate security threats: “We must build together a reliable, resilient and sustainable to meet current challenges. . Cooperation between the judiciary and law enforcement is essential to protect those in need and ensure security.
European Commission Deputy Director General Olivier Onidi added: “This conference comes at the right time, a few days after the EU officially recognized Ukraine and Moldova as candidate countries to join the European Union.”
Faced with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Member States and EU institutions are doing their utmost to provide rapid and effective assistance to refugees, but also to affected neighboring countries.
Held in Chisinau, Moldova, the conference brought together representatives of law enforcement and border authorities from Member States, EU institutions and international organisations. Representatives of Ukraine also took part in the event, including General Serhii Deineko, Head of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service, who told the audience how Ukrainian border guards help defend the country.
During the event, participants shared lessons learned from their respective operational responses to the war in Ukraine, including how to protect the human rights of those fleeing war, and discussed the impact of war on cross-border crime. The majority of people fleeing Ukraine are women and children. This poses an increased risk of human trafficking and participants gathered at the event spoke about measures taken by EU and national authorities to combat this and other types of cross-border crime.
Measures taken by Member States and EU institutions include operational support from Frontex, the introduction of the Temporary Protection Mechanism by the European Commission and the relocation of asylum seekers from Moldova to EU Member States.
Frontex launched its first operation in Moldova in March this year, following the signing of a status agreement between the EU and the Moldovan authorities. The agency currently has 59 permanent corps officers deployed in Moldova, who have been helping national authorities deal with the flow of refugees from Ukraine. Frontex has also deployed officers to other countries neighboring Ukraine to help them respond to the crisis.