EU, NATO, US call on Ukrainian parliamentarians to pass SBU reform bill

EU, NATO, US call on Ukrainian parliamentarians to pass SBU reform bill

Ukrinform
Representatives of the EU, NATO and the United States have called on all political parties in the Verkhovna Rada to immediately adopt a bill on reforming Ukraine's SBU State Security Service, which will be an important step on Ukraine's path towards the EU and NATO.

Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Vineta Kleine, Acting Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine, Kristina A. Kvien, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the United States Embassy in Ukraine, and Antti Hartikainen, Head of the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine, wrote this in an op-ed for the Ukrayinska Pravda news site.

"Ukraine is facing a historic opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic path. The draft law on the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), initiated and supported by the President, is ready for a final vote in the plenary of the Verkhovna Rada. […] We, the representatives of the EU, NATO, and the United States, strongly support the draft law currently in the Verkhovna Rada (#3196-d). If adopted in its current form and fully implemented, the new law will provide a promising basis for substantial reform and modernization of the Service in line with European and Euro-Atlantic principles and best practices," the authors of the article said.

They stressed that the draft law foresees the complete phasing out of pre-trial investigative powers, significant downsizing and de-militarization of the Service, elimination of its role in economic investigations, and strengthening oversight mechanisms.

"We call on all political parties in the Verkhovna Rada to seize this historic opportunity and adopt the draft law without delay. This would be a significant milestone for Ukraine on its path towards the EU and NATO," they said.

On January 28, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted at first reading Bill No. 3196-d "On the Introduction of Amendments to the Law of Ukraine 'On the Security Service of Ukraine'" to improve the organizational and legal framework of the SBU.

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