Serhii Pun: SBU reform should create additional mechanisms to counter hybrid threats from Russia

The SBU should take into account hybrid threats from Russia and provide the Service with additional mechanisms to counter them. This was stated by the Deputy Head of the SBU Reform Serhii Pun during a discussion organized by the American Bar Association “Rule of Law Initiative” (ABA ROLI) jointly with the Center for Civil Liberties.

“We have a common border with a country that poses a potential threat and does not see the possible existence of our independent state in the future. And the structure of the Ukrainian security sector should be determined taking into account this threat. It shall prevent it from being realized,” Serhiy Pun said.

He stressed that the reality of Russian aggression is best understood by the countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. After all, they primarily assess its threat, taking into account their historical experience and the existence of a common border with Russia. Without the Russian factor, there could be an effective classical intelligence service in Ukraine, but the current security realities require a different approach.

He also called on experts to analyze the draft law on the SBU not from the position that the officers of the Service will a priori abuse future powers. After all, such a presumption of guilt lays down norms that obviously complicate counterintelligence and investigative activities. Serhii Pun called for the opposite - to look for a balance that will allow the SBU to work effectively.

During the discussion, the experts agreed that the key method of civilian democratic control over the activities of the special service should be parliamentary. Thus, it will be possible to ensure a balance between access to information on the activities of the SBU, including special operations conducted by it, and proper protection of state secrets and confidential sources of the Service.

We shall remind that according to the draft law on the SBU 6 types of control are introduced: presidential, parliamentary, financial, judicial, public and internal. Prosecutorial supervision will operate separately.