Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Ukraine needs a powerful and dynamic Security Service operating under the highest standards of the EU and NATO.
"Of course, the Security Service should continue to make progress on the path of the reforms. Ukraine needs a powerful, dynamic and flexible Security Service that operates according to the highest standards and principles of the EU and NATO," Poroshenko said at official events on the 27th anniversary of the establishment of the Security Service of Ukraine, the presidential press service said.
According to him, the Service must be completely independent from politics and have clearly defined and purposeful functions – counterintelligence, fight against terrorism and protection of state secrets, protection against challenges and threats, including in the economy of the state.
The president added that the Security Service should become a civilian structure, just as in Europe and the United States. "It will make it stronger, more flexible, capable of confronting threats originating from the Russian Federation," he said.
"The modernized civilian Security Service with human rights observance, parliamentary oversight, as stated in the National Security Law, will enhance confidence and effective cooperation with our Euro-Atlantic security and intelligence partners," he said.
"We have done a tremendous job to make the Service capable of carrying out the most difficult tasks," the president stated.
He noted that in 2014, when the annexation of Crimea, the penetration of sabotage groups in Donbas, direct military intervention started, there was no time for thinking, preparation and elaboration of the options. "We knew one thing – the very existence of the state of Ukraine was under the threat. And the revival of the Security Service had to be done directly in the course of its active struggle with the special services of the Russian Federation, which have already acted in a strict military regime," Poroshenko said.
"The people of Ukraine should know the truth about the distance that the Service has covered over the last five years," he said.
According to him, Ukraine established the Main Directorate of Military Counterintelligence and separate units for counteraction to Russian special services in Crimea, detection of sabotage and reconnaissance groups and intelligence agencies. The number of personnel of counterintelligence units in the border regions and the south of the country has been increased.
"As part of the glorious 'Alpha' of the Security Service, the management of conducting special operations to detect and stop the activities of paramilitary and armed groups, terrorist and reconnaissance and sabotage groups emerged. A special unit has been formed to decipher and process data from UAVs and geographic information systems," he said.
"A lot has been done. But I deliberately stopped at the radical changes that the Service has carried out promptly, without suspending the struggle on the battlefield and in the rear. I say this for those skeptics who unreasonably blame us for the lack of transformations in the special services," he added.