Victor Yushchenko is taking part in a meeting of the Security Service Council, according to the President’s press-office.

The President said the service should undergo profound changes, welcoming a few reforms introduced by its leadership in the past six months.

Then he spelled out his vision of other necessary changes. Mr. Yushchenko believes law enforcement agencies should not have similar functions. He also regards the protection of national interests as one of the top priorities for the service.

“The greatest challenge we face is that concerning our national security and not interfering with other duties of law enforcement agencies. I am speaking about the classical mission of the Security Service, which should always be ahead and self-sufficient and protect national interests, Ukraine’s borders, including its economic borders, and fight illegal migration,” he said.

The Chief of State insisted that the service should be politically neutral: “The Security Service should not be involved in politics in this tense period. [...].” He added the service’s involvement in politics impeded the development of democracy and freedom.

Then Mr. Yushchenko urged security officers to better combat corruption. He said they had unique instruments and hopes “these unique lawful tools will be used effectively.”

The President also demanded that the service should function more transparently to restore people’s trust. He said he was going to establish a security service public consultative council involving prominent journalists and public leaders.

Security Chief Ihor Drizhchany and Acting NSDCU Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin are present at the meeting.