WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and a CBP delegation visited Poland, Latvia and Estonia last week to meet with officials and observe border security operations along the European Union’s eastern external border. CBP is committed to help strengthen and improve border security capabilities throughout the region and as part of that commitment, Commissioner McAleenan announced that CBP will deploy a Law Enforcement Liaison to Warsaw this summer. The CBP Law Enforcement Liaison will assist European Union member states by providing subject matter expertise to better secure their borders.
During his visit to Poland, Commissioner McAleenan met with the Polish Border Guard’s Commander in Chief Colonel Marek Łapiński, Undersecretary for Customs Marian Banaś and FRONTEX Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri to discuss cooperation on border security and trade, including intellectual property rights enforcement. The Commissioner also met with U.S. Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones to discuss the deployment of a U.S. Border Patrol Advisor as a Law Enforcement Liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.
Commissioner McAleenan visited the Medyka border crossing along Poland’s border with the Ukraine to observe border infrastructure and equipment used to secure the green border. The Polish Border Guard demonstrated scanner operations for scanning freight cars passing through the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Medyka. The CBP delegation also visited the border crossing in Korczowa, including a site visit on the Ukrainian side at the Polish-Ukrainian Consultation Point where they were greeted by the First Deputy Chairman of the State Border Services of Ukraine General Lieutenant Wasyl Serwatiuk.
In Latvia, Commissioner McAleenan met with Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, members of the Latvian Parliament, State Secretary Ilze Petersone-Godmane, Deputy State Secretary Dimitrijs Trofimoves, Chief of the State Border Guard General Normunds Garbars and U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Nancy Pettit. Commissioner McAleenan reiterated CBP’s commitment to sharing best practices and continued work with the Ministry of Interior and State Border Guard on current projects including Mobile Tactical Team training and assistance with the regional development of data analysis systems.
In Estonia, Commissioner McAleenan met with Minister of Interior Andres Anvelt and Director General of Police and Border Guard Elmer Vaher and observed the first iteration of the Mobile Tactical Team training in Piusa, Estonia. Trainers from the U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group are teaching individual and team tactics with the goal of increasing the country’s quick reaction capabilities along the border. In addition to Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania are also participating in the training. Similar exercises will occur in Latvia and Lithuania in the coming months.