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Poroshenko: ATO to evolve into Joint Forces Operation on 30 April

Units of the National Guard, the SBU, border guards and police will report to the army.

Poroshenko: ATO to evolve into Joint Forces Operation on 30 April

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in an interview with Ukrainian TV on 13 April said that the Antiterrorist Operation (ATO) will change to the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in Donbas on 30 April. "[It is going to happen] not in a month – it should change on 30 April," he said, answering the question about the start of the JFO.

"It's not about the advantages. I believe it will fundamentally change the organization of military management. The ATO is being carried out under the leadership of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The interaction between the SBU and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Police and the National Guard is absolutely different from what is envisaged in the law on Donbas reintegration. Control over the operation is transferred to the Armed Forces which will receive additional powers to respond to the aggression," the president said.

According to Poroshenko, units of the National Guard, the SBU, the State Border Service and the National Police will become subordinate to the Armed Forces.

"This will make the actions of the Ukrainian military much more effective not only in repelling the armed aggression but also in tackling sabotage groups," he added.

Ukraine's parliament on 18 January passed draft law No 7163 on the special aspects of state policy to ensure Ukraine's state sovereignty in temporarily occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions (the so-called Donbas reintegration bill). On 16 March, President Petro Poroshenko announced the end of the ATO and transition to the JFO. He also appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lt. Gen Serhiy Nayev as commander of the Joint Forces.

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