The reform of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) should take into account hybrid threats coming from the Russian Federation and provide the Service with additional mechanisms to counter them, SBU’s Deputy Chief for Reform Serhiy Pun said during a discussion organised by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Centre for Civil Liberties.

“We have a common border with a country that poses a potential threat and does not see the possible existence of our independent state in the future. And the design of the Ukrainian security sector should be determined taking into account this threat in order to prevent it from being realised,” Pun said.

He stressed that Eastern European countries and the Baltic states are better aware of the reality of Russian aggression. After all, they primarily assess its threat, taking into account their historical experience and the presence of a common border with Russia. Without Russia’s factor, Ukraine could have an effective classical information special service, but the current security realities require a different approach.

During the discussion, the experts agreed that a parliamentary method should be the key thing in civil democratic control over the Service’s activities. Thus, it will be possible to ensure a balance between access to information on SBU activities, including special operations it carries out, and proper protection of state secrets and confidential sources of the Service.

Natalia Tolub

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