Pahor calls for dialogue, peaceful solving of Ukraine crisis in Munich

Munich – President Borut Pahor called for dialogue and a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis in a statement for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija as he arrived at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

He confirmed that the Ukrainian crisis was the main topic of the Munich conference. “I think we must focus all our know-how, power and political will on dialogue and a peaceful solution to this crisis.”

Pahor assessed that Russia would pay a high price both politically and morally for a potential military intervention in Ukraine, although “maintaining peace also costs the West a lot”.

He said that despite the “disapproval of some and surprise of others”, he wished to believe Russian senior officials that they had no intention of attacking Ukraine “because their credibility is strongly undermined because of deceit in 2014, so now they must restore credibility with actions”.

Commenting on statements that US diplomats are warning of an attack, while European diplomats are stressing that a peaceful solution can still be reached, Pahor said that both views were justified.

The Ukrainian president himself has tried to calm down the situation and said that some assessments of the threat were excessive, Pahor said, noting though that in 2014 Russia annexed the Crimea in a similar situation and despite assurances to the contrary.

“We are both right – those of us who want to believe that there will be no intervention and those who are warning that we must not be naive and surprised again if aggression does take place.”

The situation is worrying and the Munich Security Conference is a good opportunity for an exchange of arguments and a search for peaceful solutions, Pahor said.

“I wish reason prevails on both sides,” said Pahor, regretting Russia’s decision not to send Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the conference.

Pahor will take part in a debate on the Western Balkans as a special guest and co-host of the event. Commenting on the situation in the region, he said it must not be underestimated and that certain worrying processes in the Western Balkans must be noticed early and addressed.