EU, IOM Support Belarus-Ukraine Border Demarcation and Security

Posted: 
02/15/19
Themes: 
Integrated Border Management, Migrant Assistance

Minsk/Kyiv – Belarus and Ukraine’s common border, which includes the marshes and forests of the zone contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is set to be fully demarcated and improved thanks to a new initiative between IOM and the European Union.

The EUR 6.7 million project announced in Minsk this week will support the border demarcation process, improving infrastructure at the crossing points and strengthen bilateral cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

The demarcation of the 1,084 km border has been pending for over 20 years, since Minsk and Kyiv signed a State Border Treaty back in 1997. Until now, 784 kilometres have been marked with temporary border signs, while about one-third of the boundary still lacks any physical signs.

The Delegation of the European Union to Belarus, assisted by IOM experts, will procure a wide range of assets needed for demarcation works at the Belarus-Ukraine border to be carried out including vehicles, radiation detection and construction equipment, border signs and buoys, other relevant tools and machinery.

“Border demarcation might seem to be a purely technical process, implementing the agreements that were already reached at the political and legislative level; however, the absence of a clearly demarcated border contributes to the vulnerability of the Belarus-Ukraine border, and, in a way, the eastern border of the EU at large,” said Outa Hermalahti, Project Manager at the EU Delegation to Belarus. “It creates the preconditions for trans-border crime, such as drugs, weapons, and migrant smuggling.”

In addition to the border demarcation support, a new X-ray station will be installed at the Novaya Huta border crossing point to mitigate the risks of illegal cross-border movements. Novaya Huta in Belarus, and Novi Yarylovychi in Ukraine, are the busiest adjacent border crossing points in the region, and a part of the Helsinki–Alexandroupolis Pan-European Transport Corridor.

The information obtained by the Belarusian customs authorities via the new X-ray complex will be shared with their Ukrainian colleagues using the existing electronic system of pre-arrival information exchange (PRINEX), launched under a previous EU/IOM project.

The EU and IOM will also facilitate the development of a specialised mobile application, allowing travellers to follow the situation at the border, and get information on crossing procedures.

For more information please contact:
Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 288 27 42, E-mail: oborzenkova@iom.int
Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, E-mail: vzhluktenko@iom.int

  • Travelling by car from Kyiv to Minsk through “Novi Yarilovychi” border crossing point, Ukraine, (pictured), and “Novaya Huta”, Belarus, will be facilitated within the new IOM project. Photo: IOM 

  • IOM Reporter: Outa Hermalahti