SBU should work proactively, focus on protecting national security - head of Rada profile committee
The fight with organized crime, economic crimes and corruption will remain in the functionality of the SBU only in the context of protecting national security, narrowing the jurisdiction is necessary to transform the department into a special service, says head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence Oleksandr Zavytnevych (Servant of the People).
In a blitz interview with the Interfax-Ukraine agency, explaining the version of the bill on reforming the SBU, which was finalized by the deputies, Zavytnevych noted that the main efforts of the Service should be aimed at preventing crimes.
"The very philosophy of the secret service must change - work not on the fact of crimes committed, but in proactive mode ... In addition, modern hybrid wars are waged by 'proxy' forces – by private military companies using terrorist organizations and transnational criminal groups, through an 'operation of influence' by the forces of agents in authorities or special information operations," said the head of the committee.
In this context, he explained that counterintelligence support all branches of government and vital national interests, the fight against terrorism and the protection of the constitutional order should become the main directions of the SBU's activities.
"Everything else is the fight against organized crime, economic crimes, corruption and other, I emphasize, exclusively through the prism of the above directions," Zavytnevych added.
Speaking about the need to narrow the jurisdiction, the head of the committee expressed bewilderment that the draft law of the SBU contained Article 201-1 of the Criminal Code, which concerns the smuggling of timber and wood products. "Together with such articles, we are reducing everything unnatural, leaving direct functionality - crimes against the foundations of national security, against peace, human security and international order, terrorism," said the head of the relevant parliamentary committee.
"Anyone who has come across pressure from ... the 'K' branch knows that pressure on business occurs through the tools of pretrial investigation, since it is impossible to seize goods or equipment as part of counterintelligence measures, to put pressure on company employees, and as part of a pretrial investigation one can do it," stressed Zavytnevych.
Earlier, in an exclusive interview with the agency, head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov criticized the version of the bill on reforming the SBU proposed by the deputies. According to the head of the Ukrainian special service, none of the committee members discussed the final version of the text with the SBU. "In general, such a 'reform' of security has nothing to do with the standards of the leading intelligence services of NATO and the EU, to which we all strive. It is more like an attempt to weaken the state and the president," he said.