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Press Release

Readout of Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen’s Trip to Kyiv and Berlin

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 to reaffirm the Department’s close partnership with foreign counterparts to stop the flow of sensitive technologies to foreign adversaries. AAG Olsen was joined by the Disruptive Technology Strike Force co-lead Assistant Secretary (AS) Matthew Axelrod of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. AAG Olsen thereafter traveled to Berlin, Germany, where he met with German counterparts and  gave remarks at the U.S. Embassy during a roundtable discussion hosted by the American Academy.

The trip follows the creation of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force earlier this year. Co-led by AAG Olsen and AS Axelrod, the Strike Force is an interagency law enforcement effort targeting illicit actors, protecting supply chains and preventing critical technologies from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nation-states. Senior officials from the FBI and Justice Department participated in the trip, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor to the Attorney General for International Affairs Bruce Swartz and the Resident Legal Advisor in Kyiv, Jared Kimball.

While in Kyiv, the Strike Force delegation met with foreign counterparts and their staff, including Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin; Deputies Andrii Haichenko and Iryna Mudra of the Ukraine Ministry of Justice; Deputy Head of Security Service Olsekandr Poklad; and Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, Oleksandr Lytvynenko. The delegation also visited the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice (KFI), a leading institution in the field of forensic examinations, housed within the Ministry of Justice and overseen by Director Oleksandr Ruvin and Deputy Director Dr. Nataliia Nestor. The visit to KFI gave the delegation the opportunity to view weapons recovered from the front lines, including ballistic missiles, air-guided missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Six men stand in an outdoor lot in front of various pieces of mechanical equipment.
Five men seated in a row.

Throughout the visit, AAG Olsen emphasized the U.S. government’s continued commitment to undermining the Russian government’s ability to obtain critical technology used in UAVs and other weapons systems to support its unprovoked and unjustified aggression in Ukraine. Olsen additionally described the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to bring criminal prosecutions and other enforcement actions aimed at stopping the illicit transfer of export-controlled, military-grade technology. The two governments further discussed opportunities for the Ukrainian government to support this work, including through information sharing and the exchange of best practices of forensic analysis.

From Berlin, AAG Olsen gave remarks at and participated in a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Embassy hosted by the American Academy. He also met with officials from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, including State Secretary Hans-Georg Engelke, and officials from the Germany Federal Ministry of Justice.

Updated November 6, 2023

Topics
Countering Nation-State Threats
Export Control
National Security
Press Release Number: 23-1233