PM and NGOs call for separate protests in support of Ukraine

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša and several NGOs have called each for their own protest in support of Ukraine. While the rally announced by Janša is to be held in Ljubljana on Wednesday, NGOs are calling for a protest for peace on Tuesday.

Janša announced the protest in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday evening. It is to be held in the Slovenian capital on Wednesday at 5pm with the more exact location to follow.

Today, some twenty NGOs issued an invitation for a rally in support of Ukraine for 5pm Tuesday in Republic Square in front of the Parliament House in Ljubljana.

“We condemn Russia’s attacks on Ukraine in the strongest terms and express solidarity with everyone who fears for their lives, have lost their close ones or are displaced,” said the NGOs in the appeal for protest.

“We are convinced that people on neither side of the border want war,” said the NGos, including Amnesty International Slovenia, Youth for Climate Justice, Pace Institute and the 8 March Institute.

They urged an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and talks to start on a long-term diplomatic solution to the dispute. They also denounced political abuse of the war and increasing militarisation at home and abroad.

Speaking for Euractiv, a pan-European media network, Janša said the West must stop Russian President Vladimir Putin now because if Kyiv fell it would have consequences for Europe’s whole East.

“I am 100% convinced that if Russia is not stopped in Ukraine and Kyiv falls, then the next target is Moldova, Georgia, then troubles will be caused in the Western Balkans, then the Baltic States are the next target,” he said.

He warned of the domino effect unless Russia is stopped and said there “is no such formula to work with people thinking like Hitler or Stalin. We have to stop them at the beginning.”

He said that despite the cost of sanctions, military aid, “the price at stopping him [Putin] now is a thousand times lower than the price we would pay if we let him take Ukraine”.

Smaller protests against the war in Ukraine were held in Ljubljana and Maribor last Friday.