Kyiv, May 20th, 2014 – “Ukrainian Border Guard Service will do everything possible to ensure stability on the border” – said Sergey Astakhov, Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine during a press conference at the Ukrainian media crisis center.
According to Mr. Astakhov today all the efforts of his organization are aimed at stability and controllability of the situation during the elections on May 25th. In particular, control over people, vehicles and goods crossing the border of Ukraine will be exercised even more meticulously.
Instead, a simplified procedure will be applied for the elections observers who will cross the border. Thus, at the border crossings there have been already organized individual corridors for their passage. The lists of the official observers have been approved by the CEC, so for those already signed up there will be no problems, and that’s already more than 2 thousand. As of today, 102 observers have already crossed the border. Other categories of people will be under more thorough control at the green corridor.
Commenting on the situation in the East of Ukraine, Mr. Astakhov said that in these regions Border Service is the main guarantor of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Mr. Astakhov named the following additional security measures implemented by the State Border Service:
– Organization of additional orders;
– Active cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine;
– Control over the entry of Russian citizens.
Particular attention Mr. Astakhov paid to difficult working conditions of the Border Service employees. In particular, he said, officers undergo significant moral and psychological pressure. They often face blocking the units in case of refusal to surrender their weapons to the separatists; detention and disarmament of border guards; attacks and threats both to border guards and their family members; attempts to release separatists by force.
The situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is also complicated by activation of criminal elements who incite the local population. However, according to Mr. Astakhov, the guards on the contrary feel the material and moral support from the population. In addition, they cooperate intensively with the local self-defense forces.
Mr. Astakhov said that before the election the eastern border of Ukraine is heavily guarded and assured that the Border Guard Service will make every effort to ensure the integrity of Ukraine.