Govt parties reserved about both Ukraine war appeals

Ljubljana – The coalition Freedom Movement and the Left are reserved about both appeals public figures have addressed to the government regarding Slovenia’s stance on the war in Ukraine, while the two opposition parties have expressed unequivocal support for today’s cross-partisan open letter calling for stronger support for Ukraine.

The letter says that peace in Ukraine can be achieved only through decisive support for Ukraine’s defence, not with a format of talks that led to the Minsk Agreements.

This is a different view to the one expressed in last week’s appeal by 18 academics and politicians arguing that providing arms to Ukraine only prolongs the conflict.

Freedom Movement MP Lenart Žavbi said that the largest parliamentary party does not fully agree with either appeal.

Asked what stance the government will take on Ukraine’s further armament, Žavbi said that the deliveries agreed under the previous government run as normal.

However, he believes Slovenia cannot afford more than that, as it does not have sufficient quantities of equipment at its disposal.

He finds it important for the country to help Ukraine with development, humanitarian and post-conflict methods or means.

As for the attitude towards Russia, Žavbi said that efforts should be made to bring the two sides to the table and start talking.

Both Žavbi and the Left’s MP Matej Tašner Vatovec welcomed Golob’s yesterday announcement that Slovenia’s stance will be formed on the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee.

Tašner Vatovec reiterated his party’s opposition to further armament, arguing it only played into the hands of the arms industry.

He stressed the need to find a way to a ceasefire as soon as possible, which he said would require both Russia and Ukraine, and NATO to concede some of their demands.

As for the open letters, he said both were flawed.

Branko Grims, an MP for the Democrats (SDS), has strongly supported today’s appeal penned by 50 signatories saying: “Unfortunately, there is only one realistic path, and it’s certainly not the one in the first letter.”

He believes a ceasefire is necessary, but it can only happen if the balance of forces on the battlefield is first restored.

A similar view was presented by New Slovenia (NSi) MP Janez Žakelj, who expressed his conviction that the EU must show unity in its support for Ukraine.