36 Ukrainian regional police chiefs set to receive training in Estonia as part of a cooperation project

The Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) and the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) concluded a partnership agreement to enhance the regional management capacity of the National Police Headquarters and Patrol Police units of the Kirovohrad, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr regions in Ukraine. The aim of the partnership agreement is to develop the skills and knowledge of police chiefs in the regions of Ukraine and to improve the organisation of the units to increase the credibility of the police and curb corruption.

A nearly two-year cooperation project between the PBGB and ESTDEV will bring together police chiefs from the three regions of Ukraine with the heads and experts of the East, West and South Prefectures of the PBGB.

According to Police Lieutenant Colonel Tarmo Viikmaa of the International Cooperation Bureau of the PBGB, the training will focus on modern management practices, innovation, organisational culture, and police development. “Estonian law enforcement experts, including heads of prefectures, will participate in the project and share their experience with their Ukrainian counterparts. Ukraine is an important partner for us, with whom we have been cooperating for a long time, including on projects, and training courses like this one. We want to support our colleagues in Ukraine, especially in the current situation,” said Viikmaa.

According to Eva-Maria Liimets, Programme Manager for Democracy and the Rule of Law at ESTDEV, this is a relaunch of a project originally planned for 2022–2024, which had to be put on hold due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. “The Ukrainian police have a long-standing interest in cooperation with Estonia and our expertise in internal security. Adopting Western practices and management methods is even more important in the light of Ukraine’s EU aspirations. Therefore, we are pleased that agreements were concluded last October between the Estonian and Ukrainian partners to relaunch the project. In view of the full-scale war in Ukraine, we made changes to the training project to adapt to Ukraine’s current needs and added the region of Zhytomyr to the programme,” said Liimets.

The implementation of the project is supported by ESTDEV, and the activities will include the preparation of necessary training materials, including the PBGB strategy documents, in Ukrainian. The first group of Ukrainian police officers will arrive in Estonia for training in April.

Project manager Jaanika Heidmets noted that closer cooperation between Estonian and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies would contribute to more effective human rights enforcement and the development of democracy and internal security in Ukraine.

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