European ambassadors praise EU’s unity in response to Ukraine crisis

Ljubljana – Several European ambassadors stationed in Slovenia praised the EU for its unity in the face of the Ukraine crisis at a debate at the EU House in Ljubljana on Friday. They again condemned the Russian aggression and called for further evacuation of Ukrainian civilians and coordination of aid to refugees within the EU.

Jerneja Jug Jerše, the head of the European Commission representation to Slovenia, said the EU had allocated at least EUR 500 million to tackle the humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine and imposed massive financial sanctions while also activating a directive on temporary protection to help Ukrainian refugees.

Solidarity among EU countries is at the core of this approach, she said.

Ukrainian Ambassador Mykhailo Brodovych said the most severe issue at the moment was creating humanitarian corridors.

He strongly criticised Moscow’s proposed routes for civilian evacuation leading to Russia and Belarus, noting this would mean “taking people hostage and using them as a living shield”.

Brodovych again thanked Slovenia for its support and aid. He said the most important thing for Ukrainian refugees in Slovenia now was integration and access to healthcare services, education and administrative services “without additional red tape”.

He stressed it was important that measures in all EU countries were coordinated.

Polish Ambassador Krzysztof Olendzki also called for a united and strong response, noting that over 1.6 mullion refugees had arrived in Poland since the start of the Russian invasion. Over 50 refugee centres have been set up across the country, he said.

More than 100,000 people have been coming to Poland every day for 15 consecutive days, so the country is “on the verge of its capacities”, he said, noting Poland’s response on all levels and praising the mobilisation in all EU countries bordering Ukraine.

Deputy Romanian Ambassador Silvana Bolocan said that Romania had been one of the first countries to get involved in activities to help Ukrainian refugees and that more than 300,000 had so far arrived in the country.

Talks are under way with Moldova and activities are being coordinated with the EU and other organisations, she said.

The Polish ambassador said that the interior ministers of Poland, Germany and France had recently discussed ways in which refugees could be redistributed across the entire Europe. He strongly condemned Russia’s aggression and the “attack on the European democracy” but noted that it had “successfully united Europe”.

French Ambassador Florence Ferrari also commended Europe’s response and the unity of the EU and NATO: “France will support Ukraine and stand firmly by its allies in actions against Russia,” she said.