The official ceremony for the launch of the international technical assistance project “Strengthening the Surveillance Capacity on the Green and Blue Border between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine (SURCAP)” took place on 4 October 2012.
This EU-funded project is being implemented by the International organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The event was held at a base complex of the coast guard division “Loev” of the Gomel Border Group in Belarus.
The importance of the project for both the countries/beneficiaries and the European Union was confirmed by representatives of the border guards of the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus, Ms. Maira Mora, the Chief of Mission of IOM in Belarus, Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev, and ICMPD Programme Manager Mr. Borut Eržen. The ceremony included an official introduction, a tour of the facilities of the Belarusian blue border surveillance unit (technical equipment, vehicles, motorboats, etc.), training modalities for conscripts and a press briefing for the media.
The SURCAP project envisages providing assistance for building the capacity of the Belarus-Ukraine border in 2013 – 2014, as well as organising joint Belarus-Ukraine study visits to the EU and regional workshops. For the latter, topics covered would include coordinated border patrolling, green and blue border protection, migration management, interrogation techniques, protection of travel documents, involvement of local population, anti-corruption mechanisms, personnel development techniques and combating drug trafficking.