Janša casts Golob as pro-Russian

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša alleged in a series of posts on Twitter on Tuesday that Robert Golob, who defeated him in Sunday’s general election with his Freedom Movement, is pro-Russian, as he reacted to foreign media reports about the election.

“You really called those pro Russian guys “liberals”? Check your sources, please,” Janša tweeted this afternoon, tagging a number of foreign media, including The New York Times, Reuters and Fox News.

He described the Freedom Party, which foreign media designated as centrist and liberal, as “pro-Russian,” backing his claims with alleged pro-Russian positions of the party’s backers that he said had an “anti-European, pro-Russian background”.

This included a photo of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, who endorsed Golob, receiving a medal from Putin several years ago, and a statement by Freedom Movement vice-president Marta Kos in a 20 March interview that it was in Slovenia’s interest to have normal relations with Russia.

The Twitter activity comes after Janša aired similar views on election day as he responded to a tweet by the European People’s Party (EPP), which caused a stir when it said that it was “worried about the possible Russian interference in the Slovenian elections, which is clearly a consequence of Slovenia’s firm & unequivocal support for Ukraine.”

The EPP did not explain its position any further.

On Sunday Janša thanked the EPP as he noted that “powerful politicians, decorated by Putin’s medals, try to push Slovenia back to the Russian sphere of influence.”

He said there was “a strong pro-Russian network in Slovenia with exceptional media, financial and political power. This network sets up a new political party before each election. This time it is called the Freedom Movement”.

Hours after polls closed on Sunday, Janša congratulated Golob on victory and said the SDS was always willing to work together with political players for the common good of Slovenia.