Slovenia pledges to support Ukraine "as long as necessary"
Senior government officials pledged that Slovenia will support Ukraine "as long as necessary" as they marked the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Prime Minister Robert Golob and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said Slovenia would strive for a just and lasting peace in the war-stricken country and provide aid in line with the UN Charter.
Golob said in a written statement that Slovenia and its allies were committed to resolving the conflict peacefully, but the call for an immediate end to the war could only be addressed to Moscow.
"Only after the aggression stops can diplomacy, and with it peace, have a chance," he noted, adding that "the provisions of the UN Charter not only call for aid but also mandate UN member states to help the victim of an aggressive war."
Noting Slovenia's own historical memory, Foreign Minister Fajon finds it inadmissible that civilians, including women and children, are killed every single day and civilian infrastructure is being targetted.
"It is hard to imagine today that someone is trying to illegally and unlawfully usurp the territory, sovereignty and territorial integrity of another country by force of arms," Fajon said.
Both also backed all efforts to clearly distinguish the aggressor from the victim, stressing Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine the victim.
"We must do everything we can through diplomatic channels to stop the attacks, killings and the destruction of infrastructure, and to create the conditions for talks, for a lasting and just peace in Ukraine," Fajon said, adding that "Ukraine and all of us" want peace.
The prime minister said it was a civilizational achievement that helping and supporting victims in their self-defence was not only permissible, but also a moral obligation for all those who reject violence and advocate peaceful solutions in international relations.
Slovenia allocated almost EUR 30 million in refugee aid for Ukraine last year, and EUR 20.5 million for their integration, care and assistance, according to government figures.
Close to 8,000 Ukrainians were granted temporary protection status in Slovenia under which they have the right to temporary housing, healthcare services, work, education, financial aid and can bring family members to Slovenia. Currently, 455 persons are part of the early integration programme.
As for military aid, Slovenia supplied Ukraine with 35 M08A infantry fighting vehicles and 28 M-55 tanks, enough to equip one mechanised and one armoured battalion.
It has also supported Ukraine's case against Russia regarding violations of the Genocide Convention before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, its EU candidate status, as well as all sanctions adopted against Russia thus far.