The Slovenia Times

Slovenia stands firm by Ukraine


Slovenia pledged its continued support for Ukraine in its defence against Russia as the National Security Council convened its first formal session under the watch of Prime Minister Robert Golob on 30 November.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Golob said the council did not detect any increased risk or threat to Slovenia in light of Russia's intensified attacks on Ukraine.

"However, the situation in Ukraine is critical, especially due to Russian attacks on the civil energy infrastructure in Ukraine," Golob said, assessing that the aim of such attacks was to break the nation's will to defend themselves.

"We were united at the session in the assessment that as long as the Ukrainian people have the will to defend themselves, it is our moral duty to support them," Golob added.

Similarly, President Borut Pahor said as long as the Ukrainian people exercised their right to self-defence, "we have no right to impose peace on them against their will".

Slovenia will participate in the training of Ukrainian armed forces that will take place outside Slovenia. Golob said European Union Assistance Mission Ukraine (EUMAM) was being coordinated with the allies and he expressed the belief that parliament will confirm Slovenia's participation.

Pahor said "it is important that we carefully protect the political unity regarding Russia's aggression against Ukraine internally and that we are part of the unity of the Western world in dealing with security, political and economic threats".

Matej Tonin, the leader of the opposition party New Slovenia (NSi) and former defence minister, expressed satisfaction with military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine continuing under the new government.

Commenting on calls in Slovenia that the two sides should negotiate, he said: "This is not as simple as some people imagine. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be capitulation. And if Russia stops fighting, we have peace ... Only when Russia assesses it cannot advance militarily will there be true readiness to conclude a peace treaty".

Attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest on the same day, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon pledged Slovenia would continue to assist Ukraine by providing humanitarian aid, helping it rebuild damaged infrastructure and by accepting refugees.

"Winter is knocking on the door, it's cold, without electricity and water many Ukrainians will have to leave their homes, and here too, in the face of the humanitarian crisis that may occur, it will be necessary to help civilians on the run," Fajon said.

Ukraine has also asked for military aid, but the minister said Slovenia had largely depleted its warehouses in this respect, and that in the future it would cooperate mainly with material and development or humanitarian aid.

Interior Ministry data as of early November show Ukrainian refugees have submitted 7,889 applications for temporary protection in Slovenia. The status has been granted to 7,160 persons.

Assurances of Slovenia's continued assistance and support were also made as Defence Minister Marjan Šarec visited Ukraine on 28 November. He saw the destruction first hand during a visit to Irpin, the city that was under severe attacks from Russia earlier this year.

Since the beginning of the war, Slovenia has been assisting Ukraine with humanitarian and military aid, demining equipment, supplies, and assistance to Ukrainian refugees. "Slovenia will continue to assist Ukraine in various ways," Šarec promised his counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.

One option discussed was for Slovenia to provide care for the wounded, including civilians.

Just this week the Foreign Ministry signed an agreement under which Slovenia will donate Ukraine €370,000 for an ambulance to transport premature babies and their mothers. The ministry has so far provided Ukraine €580,000 to purchase ambulances. Two vehicles will be supplied by the end of the year.

Slovenia has also pledged €1 million in support of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's Grain from Ukraine programme, which will see Ukraine donate grain to the least developed countries in Africa and Asia.


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