Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

Europol warns of dangers to Europe’s security from Russia-Ukraine war

Europol Director Catherine De Bolle says ‘there may also be a threat of terrorist activity in the EU’

Abdula Berisha, Dzihat Aliju   | 06.05.2022
Europol warns of dangers to Europe’s security from Russia-Ukraine war

BELGRADE, Serbia

The head of Europol, Europe’s policing agency, warned Thursday of possible threats to Europe’s security from the Russia-Ukraine war, saying both jihadists and right-wing terrorists have traveled to Ukraine.

Catherine De Bolle’s remarks came at a regional conference titled "Police Chiefs Combating Organized Crime: Challenges and Support" held in North Macedonia’s capital Skopje.

"There may also be a threat of terrorist activity in the EU. Foreign fighters are already going to the war zone. Some of them may eventually become radicalized and return to the EU, posing a public safety threat. The SIS (Schengen Information System) and our databases confirm the travel of both jihadists and right-wing terrorists (to Ukraine),'' said De Bolle.

She also warned that asylum seekers may become the victims of criminals involved in human trafficking, referring to Ukrainian refugees, and drew attention to the risk of the smuggling of weapons accumulated in Ukraine.

De Bolle said the Western Balkans is a priority region for Europol and emphasized the importance of more cooperation with the region and joint participation in actions.

North Macedonian Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski expressed his country's wish for more cooperation between law enforcement agencies in different countries.

"If we become part of the European Union, we will protect Europe from crime more easily. Our stance on this issue is quite clear. We are on the European way, and we are consistent in this regard,” said Spasovski.

The conference was attended by senior officials from Europol as well as police officials from the Western Balkans and from Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

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