Slovakia/Hungary/Romania/Moldova - Ukraine

In spring 2018 I made the first trip to western borders of Ukraine. Earlier I wanted to visit the border between Ukraine and Belarus north of Kiev but that wouldn't work. It was hard to contact the Ukrainian border police and they were vague in their answers. It looked like you could only visit the border area when you have family living there.
I found a good alternative in the borders between Slovakia, Hungary and Romania with Ukraine. Most likely it would be easier to approach these borders from the EU-countries. Another advantage: these borders are close to eachother, especially the borders Slovakia/Ukraine and Hungary/Ukraine are short: that made it possible to reduce travel time and to visit some parts of these borders in four days.

As usual, the preparation took a long time. Six weeks before my planned visit (middle of April 2018) I contacted the authorities in Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
The reaction from Hungary came fast and was short: no restrictions, but don't cross the State border. To avoid surprises I sent them in reply the detailled schedule with map of my intended hikes. No reaction but the day before my arrival, I was called by a Dutch guy working for Frontex in Záhony. He wanted to know some more details because the authorities were wondering why I wanted to hike along the State border. After my explanations there would be no problem. During my hikes the next day I didn't notice any border guard or activity. Which doesn't mean I was not noticed.

From Slovakia I got a friendly reaction: they forwarded my request to the region involved. The spokesperson of the Border and Alien Police Directorate in the region Sobrance, a very friendly lady contacted me and had lots of questions which I could easily answer: I sent her all my detailled plans. At the end of the hiking-day she even wanted to meet me. It turned out she informed all involved borderguard stations and everyone was aware of my arrival and my activities. I felt very welcome and everyone was kind and very helpful! The more questions in advance, the more doors are opened.

The same in Romania. My request was forwareded to the Border Police in the regions Halmeu and Tarna Mare. From both regions I got positive reactions. A friendly officer called me several times and in the end they gave permission for all my detailed plans. Before starting any activity I had to visit the regional Border Police stations.

This friendly approach in advance I didn't expect. I experienced in the last years that it becomes more difficult and complicated to visit the border areas, although the authorities do their best to help me: new and high tension between East and West, and the problems with illegal migrants and smuggling.

During my four days' visit I was supported by the Slovakian Border Police and by the Romanian Border Police in a surprising way. They took all time for me, helped me where ever they could and they treated me as a very welcomed person.
Many thanks again, it was great to feel your support and hospitality!

In October 2018 I planned to visit the State Border between Moldova and Ukraine.
A report with pictures will be available on this website in November 2018.

If you ever have the idea to visit parts of the mentioned State borders, please don't do this without proper preparation:
- get in contact with the involved Border Police first to discuss your detailled plans;
- always keep a distance of at least 10 meter from the State border;
- respect all warning and 'STOP' signs;
- in all cases: be aware that the authorities have very sophisticated methods to trace you, even on places where you would not expect this: you will only experience this whenever you break any of their rules. Big brother is watching you, that's their profession and their duty. Penalties are high, you will loose any good-will and any confidence. So be warned!

If you want more specific information or pictures in high resolution, please contact me any time.