Ukraine must complete the reform of its defense and security entities, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Alejandro Alvargonzález said at the 2018 YES conference in Kyiv, Ukraine.
“The success of any security service has to do with its linkage to the democratic political system that you want to live in,” he said.
The official’s comments come at a time when some Western governments and NGOs have accused Ukraine’s powerful intelligence and defense entities, such as the State Security Service (SBU), of resisting reform programs and clinging on to Soviet-era powers.
“So, I should say that the reforms should be in the hands of those who must do some oversight of how it works and how to make it work, at the same time, with transparency and respect to democratic laws,” he said.
According to Alvargonzalez, Ukraine’s number one priority is “the complete and better reform of the national security and defense structures.”
He also praised Ukraine for its recent anti-corruption efforts and said “Ukraine has made a lot of effort trying to reform the essential basis of the state. More has been done in the last four years than in the twenty years previous.”
The official also commented on NATO’s role in the recent dispute between Ukraine and Hungary over the treatment of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine.
“Hungary is a very valued ally and Ukraine is one of our closest partners. So we would like very much that Ukraine and Hungary do reach a solution between them two in full solidarity, and taking into account the reality that we have on the ground,” he said.
/Li Ping Luo