Politics 2022-11-15T05:02:34+02:00
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Heads Of Diplomatic Missions Of EU, NATO And United States In Ukraine Call On Rada To Pass Law On Reform Of SS

Heads Of Diplomatic Missions Of EU, NATO And United States In Ukraine Call On Rada To Pass Law On Reform Of SSU

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NATO, Rada, EU, Verkhovna Rada, USA, SSU, diplomatic missions

The heads of the diplomatic missions of the European Union, the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) and the United States of America in Ukraine call on the Verkhovna Rada to pass the law on the reform of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) in the second reading.

Ukrainian News Agency learned this from an article by the heads of diplomatic missions published in the Evropeiska Pravda publication.

The authors of the article are the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas, the acting head of the NATO information office Vineta Kleine, Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Kristina Kvien and the head of the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine Antti Hartikainen.

“We, the representatives of the EU, NATO and the United States, strongly support the bill No. 3196-d submitted to parliament. If the bill in the current version is adopted and fully implemented, it will become the foundation for a comprehensive reform of the SSU in accordance with European and Euro-Atlantic principles and leading practice," the article reads.

It is important that this project provides for the gradual deprivation of the SSU of all powers of pre-trial investigation, a significant reduction in staff and the demilitarization of the Service, the removal of the SSU from participation in investigations of economic crimes, as well as strengthening the mechanisms of supervision over its activities.

The heads of diplomatic missions believe that the adoption of the bill will be an important step on Ukraine's path to the EU and NATO.

"The central element of the reform envisaged by the bill is the gradual deprivation of the SSU's powers of pre-trial investigation. Thanks to this, the SSU will turn into a special service that focuses its work on counterintelligence, not law enforcement. Investigative powers will be transferred to law enforcement agencies specializing in the investigation of crimes and whose activities is subject to more close supervision compared to the activities of the special services," the article says.

From mid-2022, it is planned to narrow the investigative powers of the SSU regarding the investigation of cases of espionage, terrorism and high treason.

Under these articles, the SSU will be able to conduct a pre-trial investigation until the end of 2024, after which the Service will turn into a purely counterintelligence body, similar to the intelligence services of the EU and NATO member states.

"But there is another important step, without which such a transformation will be impossible. This is the timely adoption of the so-called "satellite" law, which will make all the necessary amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. The "satellite" law is necessary to ensure that the transfer of the investigative powers of the SSU to other law enforcement agencies takes place as planned. We expect that the Verkhovna Rada's Law Enforcement Committee, from which the text of the "satellite" law should eventually come out, will fully coordinate it with the bill No. 3196-d, which will ensure the transfer of all investigative powers in a timely manner," the article says.

Among other important changes, the introduction of a temporary system of parliamentary oversight is highlighted, which will function until the establishment of a special parliamentary oversight committee.

Another change is the reduction of the SSU staff to 20,000 people and the demilitarization of most of the regular posts of the Service.

"Meanwhile, the bill leaves a number of issues open. In particular, these are extremely broad powers of counterintelligence, allowing them to violate fundamental human rights and freedoms; preservation of the right to use physical force, special means and firearms; preservation of temporary detention facilities; lack of certainty in the certification procedure for workers of the SSU, as well as the possibility of appointing dismissed SSU employees without competition for positions in other authorities," the diplomats say.

At the same time, they think that these shortcomings require improvement, especially at the stage of implementation of key provisions of the law to strengthen judicial control and strengthen oversight mechanisms, but they should not be an obstacle to the speedy adoption of the law by the Verkhovna Rada.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Verkhovna Rada intends to provide the Security Service with the authority to submit to the Central Election Commission (CEC) information on the implementation of separatist or terrorist activities by parties, on the basis of which parties lose the rights of subjects of the electoral process.

The bill also strengthened the counterintelligence and anti-terrorist directions of the SSU's activities and expanded its powers to use forces and means against terrorist organizations.

Also, counterintelligence and operational-search activities of the SSU have been delimited, in connection with which it was proposed to exclude counterintelligence from the law "On operational-search activities" as a basis for carrying out operational-technical measures.

Counterintelligence measures, as well as the grounds and procedure for obtaining authorization for their implementation, have been separately determined.

The project expanded the possibilities of preventive actions of the SSU to counter intelligence and subversive activities.

It is also proposed to exclude the SSU from the law "On the organizational and legal basis for combating organized crime."

Thus, special anti-corruption units of the SSU will be eliminated.

It also provides for a phased reduction in the staffing of the SSU.

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