OSCE and Guardia Civil Aid Ukraine in Curbing Illicit Arms Trafficking


The OSCE and Spain’s Guardia Civil launched a specialized canine team instructor course for eight Ukrainian specialists at the Guardia Civil’s Dog Training Centre (CADEPE) on 21 March 2023.

The group of officers from Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service (SBGS) and State Customs Service (SCS) will undergo a specialized training course for canine team instructors. This initiative will strengthen the capacities of Ukraine’s border management authorities to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW), ammunition and explosives.

“Acknowledging the important role of the canine component in countering illicit firearms trafficking, as well as other forms of transnational organized crime, this joint action is a contribution to enhancing security in the OSCE region,” highlighted Alexander Savelyev, OSCE Project Manager at the official opening ceremony.

Built on European standards and best practices, the comprehensive four-month training programme aims to improve canine training methodologies of the SBGS and the SCS in product scent detection, with a focus on weapons, ammunition and explosives.

“The course programme is designed to address specific training needs of both agencies identified through a series of joint consultations and exchange visits to Ukraine and Spain, facilitated by OSCE during 2021-2022,” said Lieutenant Colonel Guillermo Reyes, Head of CADEPE.

The risks of illicit trafficking in weapons, ammunition and explosives is significantly aggravated in the contexts of Russian military aggression against Ukraine and can threaten European security. Countering illicit trafficking requires a holistic approach and immediate joint actions to prevent weapons, ammunition and explosives from getting in the wrong hands.

“Ukrainian border agencies do their utmost in combating illicit trafficking in weapons, ammunition and explosives. We are grateful to the OSCE and Guardia Civil for their assistance and consider this course as an important step in advancing Ukraine’s canine capabilities,” underlined participant Serhii Liubynetskiy. .

Thus initiative is a part of the “In support of strengthening capacities of Ukrainian authorities in preventing and combating illicit trafficking in weapons, ammunition and explosives in all its aspects” project, funded by the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovakia. Lithuania and Poland also support the project through in-kind contributions.

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