A ceremony to donate 18 units of special-purpose equipment to the coast guard department of the Gomel border group took place in Loyev. That was part of the Belarus-EU cooperation project “Strengthening Surveillance Capacity on the Green and Blue Border between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine (SURCAP)”.
The equipment worth €842,000 features two patrol boats, five off-road vehicles and eleven thermal imagers.
According to Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Maira Mora, this equipment was bought for the money granted by the EU. “We implement a lot of projects with the Belarusian border agencies with a view of strengthening Belarus’ borders with the EU. All in all, €75 million has been allocated for these projects since 2000. Projects on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border have gotten a boost recently because this is a very busy frontier with his human and cargo traffic both legal and illegal,” Maira Mora said.
Commenting on the development of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border she said that the international technical aid project “Assistance in creating a digital system for pre-arrival information exchange between the customs services of Belarus and Ukraine” (PRINEX) kicked off in May. It is being successfully implemented by the Belarusian State Customs Committee and the Ukrainian Ministry of Revenues and Duties as part of the Eastern Partnership initiative “Integrated Border Management.” The EU pursues two goals in this project. First of all, it would like to improve the capacities of the border agencies and train their personnel. “Thus we will reduce time for border crossing, and develop tourism, legal cross-border trade and contacts between people,” Maira Mora noted. Another goal is to introduce a digital system for pre-arrival information exchange between the customs services of Belarus and Ukraine and prevent illegal trade, smuggling and illegal migration.
Heads of diplomatic missions are visiting Gomel Oblast on 12-13 September. On 12 September the guests visited Khoiniki District, while on 13 September they met with top officials of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee and visited Loyev District.