Janša tells Bloomberg “we need to do much more” about Russia

Paris – Prime Minister Janez Janša has told Bloomberg TV that it is evident that war crimes are taking place in Ukraine and that Russia is denying it, and that “we should not tolerate this, we need to do much more than we are doing now.”

“We have seen such horrible pictures also in the recent history, in Vukovar and Sarajevo, and the same denying and the same propaganda going on,” Janša said in an interview for the US television network on the sidelines of the EU summit in Paris.

Asked whether the EU will impose a full ban on energy imports from Russia, he said that the issue was on the table and that the question was not if this would happen, but when. “We must ban all import from Russia, coal, gas as soon as possible”.

“We know that we will suffer for a period, but we ought to do it as quickly as possible. We have to prepare for this situation. Europe is strong enough to stabilise the issue. Russia is not in a position to blackmail us in the long term.”

Janša said that the “winter is over and the main problem regarding the import of natural gas from Russia is how to prepare for the next winter”. He assessed that the EU has enough time for that and that it had enough resources of its own.

The prime minister said that “we are already paying the price” as natural gas prices were skyrocketing, while the money paid for gas went to Russia’s Gazprom, so “actually we are buying the shells for Russians and they are shelling Mariupol.”

As for the EU accession prospects of Ukraine and the possibility of its full-fledged membership in the bloc, Janša noted that there were differences between the EU leaders, as some advocated that this be done as soon as possible as a “political declaration”.

“And some of our colleagues, unfortunately, sadly, they still stick to procedures as if there is no storm in the waters,” he added.

Asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening not only Ukraine, but also perhaps some other countries in the region, and whether this meant that he wanted to go back to the Soviet Union, Janša said that “he is on this path with a high speed.”

“It’s not about what he wants to do in the future, as he is already doing this, and there are no limits … he will go as far as possible,” he said, adding that “we must ask Putin why he has failed to create a country that is more attractive to Ukrainians than the EU.”