The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has adopted a bill on intelligence.
Bill No. 2412-d was backed by 258 lawmakers in the repeat second reading on September 17, an UNIAN correspondent reported.
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What agencies are engaged in intelligence activity
The bill determines the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Defense Ministry's intelligence agency, as well as an intelligence department of the central executive agency that implements state policy in the field of protecting the national border are intelligence agencies in Ukraine.
At the same time, the bill stipulates that counterintelligence units of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine may also be engaged in intelligence activities to obtain information in the interests of counterintelligence. The list of such units is determined by the president of Ukraine.
The president also defines the organizational structure of an intelligence agency, while the total number of personnel of the Foreign Intelligence Service shall be determined by law. The relevant service carries out intelligence activities in the foreign policy, economic, military-technical, scientific-technical, information, environmental, and cybersecurity fields.
According to the bill, the intelligence agencies are headed by officials who are appointed and dismissed by the president of Ukraine.
The bill provides that prior to appointment to a position in an intelligence agency, an appointee and, in certain cases, an employee shall undergo psychophysiological assessment with the use of equipment that records a person's emotion and attention reactions.
What is more, the bill ensures state protection for intelligence officers and their family members.
What intelligence agencies are allowed to do
Among other things, the bill allows intelligence agencies to use accounts in national and foreign currencies in banks and other financial institutions, relocate persons or objects across the state border under operational control, as well as engaging undercover officers.
An undercover agent network can be created both inside Ukraine and abroad, and documents of such organizations may completely or partially contain false information about events, phenomena, and facts.
In accordance with certain basic tasks, the Ukrainian intelligence services should provide information to stakeholders on time, contribute to the fulfillment of Ukraine's national interests, and counteract external threats to Ukraine's national security.
The SZR foreign intelligence service in a statement said the new law "is another important step in developing capabilities to effectively counteract the hybrid aggression against Ukraine and multidimensional external threats to national security of our state."