Fajon announces additional aid to Ukraine

Ljubljana – Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon briefed the government on Thursday about the current situation in Ukraine following her trip to Kyiv yesterday. She said that after five months of war the Ukrainians were exhausted and frightened, and announced a debate in the coming days at the government level about an additional package of aid to the country.

“Russian forces already control over 20% of Ukrainian territory. Informally, Russia is allegedly preparing to annex the seized land through fake referendums,” Fajon told the press after the cabinet session, adding that intensive battle was under way for the control over ports. Losing the ports would be a big strategic loss for Ukraine, she said.

The minister said Kyiv still believes that the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain would leave the port this week. “This has not happened yet mainly because of the nearby clashes and shelling, which have been a threat to the ships’ safe sailing.”

According to Fajon, the Ukrainians are exhausted, they feel pain and fear and just want to live a normal life again after more than five months of Russian aggression.

The minister told the government that the Ukrainian authorities foremost stressed the need for military assistance, as they think Russia is not willing to negotiate. She said Ukraine had thanked Slovenia for all the military and humanitarian aid provided so far and hoped its support would continue.

Together with the contributions by Slovenian NGOs, Slovenia has so far donated almost EUR 9 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. “In the coming days the government and ministries will discuss an additional package of aid to Ukraine,” she said.

The minister warned that Ukraine would also need help in the renovation of infrastructure and access to electricity and drinking water in some areas.

Asked about the criticism and comparing of her visit to the visit of previous PM Janez Janša to Kyiv nearly five months ago, she said that back then virtually all foreign diplomats had left the city because of the difficult and unpredictable situation and that that had not been the time to make independent and unpredictable solo actions.

The foreign minister travelled to Kyiv on Wednesday to meet with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. She promised Slovenia’s support in the future, both in facing the consequences of war and efforts to join the EU.