Ukraine and Romania have inked a fresh collaboration deal centred on bolstering cybersecurity, the implementation of 5G technology, and the rehabilitation of Ukraine’s connectivity structures. This agreement brings Romania into an ever-growing cohort of nations actively bolstering Ukraine’s cyber capabilities, a need highlighted last month after Russian hackers launched a severe attack on Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile and internet provider.
Forged by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation and Romania’s Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalisation, this pact focuses on a slew of crucial initiatives. Key amongst these are restoring digital infrastructures and providing internet access to isolated and challenging-to-reach locales, underscoring the strategic depth of this partnership. It also seeks to heighten the robustness and safety of ICTs, fortify the cyber defences in national networks, create a cloud infrastructure for public e-services and roll-out 5G technologies throughout Ukraine.
Notably, one of the highlights of the accord is the development of 5G corridors between the borders of Ukraine and Romania. “We agreed on the first steps — increasing the stability of Ukrainian internet networks, developing 5G corridors between the borders of Ukraine and Romania, and Ukraine’s participation in EU financial support programmes,” revealed Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov.
This move by Romania falls in line with an impressive international response to equip Ukraine in the cyber arena. Last month, the Tallinn Mechanism, a collective strategy to evaluate Ukraine’s cybersecurity needs and distribute resources accordingly, was initiated by ten nations. Spearheaded by Estonia and financially supported by governments, tech firms, and NGOs, this mechanism is set to draw an investment of €500,000 from Estonia by 2024.
Russia’s recent cyber attacks on Ukraine underscore how critical these measures are. According to Kyivstar, the attack damaged thousands of the company’s systems and potentially exposed customer data, including phone location information. Head of Ukraine’s cybersecurity division, Ilia Vitiuk ominously warned, “This attack is a big message, a big warning, not only to Ukraine, but for the whole Western world to understand that no one is actually untouchable.”
The ramifications of this reprehensible act have underlined the importance of international cooperation on cyber security matters. These partnerships are, therefore, not only central to the safety of Ukraine’s digital territory but also have broader implications on global technological and geopolitical landscapes.