Kyiv – Prime Minister Janez Janša, en route to meeting top Ukrainian officials along with his Polish and Czech counterparts, said on Tuesday that the purpose of the visit was to send Ukraine the message that it would soon be on the path towards the EU.
“Ukraine is an European country. Every path in Ukraine is an European path. Soon, it will be an EU path, too,” he said on Twitter.
According to Janša, the war in Ukraine has turned the theoretical debate in the EU about European values into the realisation that those fundamental European values actually exist.
“And that they are threatened. And that Europeans are defending them. With their lives. In Ukraine.”
He said this was the moment when the EU “started to finally wake up” and change, becoming more united than ever in its support for Ukraine because of its values.
“There is no country on the whole of our continent which is more European than Ukraine,” he said, thanking Ukraine for not only defending the homeland and Europe as a territory, but for defending “the very core of European values and our way of life.”
Janša has been among the most vocal proponents of fast-tracking Ukraine to EU membership. While several EU countries have expressed support for membership, some others are against and at last week’s summit Ukraine did not receive much coveted guarantees regarding membership.
Janez Janša joined his Polish and Czech counterparts, Mateusz Morawiecki and Petr Fiala, for a visit to Kyiv today in what is the first trip by foreign leaders to the country since the start of the Russian invasion.
They plan to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor welcomed the trip on Twitter as a “politically exceptionally important visit” and a strong show of support for Ukraine.