Ljubljana – Slovenia plans to send its diplomatic representatives back to Kyiv this week. “We are working to make the EU do the same. Ukraine needs diplomatic support,” PM Janez Janša announced on Twitter on Sunday evening. The diplomats will return to Ukraine on a voluntary basis, and the Foreign Ministry confirmed they will be based in Kyiv.
Like most foreign diplomats, Slovenian diplomatic representatives left Kyiv at or prior to the start of the Russian invasion.
Following Janša’s announcement, the Foreign Ministry told the STA that the delegation of diplomats that is to return to Ukraine had not yet been finalised.
The chargé d’affaires is expected to head the diplomatic representation office there, and it should become clear in the coming days how many people will make up the delegation and when they are expected to leave for Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Anže Logar confirmed Janša’s announcement on Monday on his arrival at the EU foreign and defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
He announced that “Slovenia will send the chargé d’affaires to Kyiv to show trust in Ukraine and its European prospects”, calling on the EU to also send its special envoy to Ukraine.
According to Logar, Ambassador Tomaž Mencin, who had been stationed in Kyiv prior to the diplomats’ return home due to the war, will not go back to Ukraine.
Janša said after a surprise visit to Kyiv last week alongside his Czech and Polish counterparts that Ukraine felt abandoned and that the EU had to send its representative back to Kyiv, “somebody who can represent us in person”.
In a subsequent interview, he said that diplomats existed to “address situations, to give negotiations a chance when fighting is under way, we don’t have them for banquets”.
According to Logar, the matter of the EU sending back its representative will be discussed at today’s session that will be mainly dedicated to efforts to further help Ukraine and to ensure effective implementation of sanctions against Russia, and to potential additional sanctions.
“Russia continues its attack, so we should have a joint and determined response to that in terms of the economy. We should step up sanctions, close ports, ban imports of energy products and resolutely support Ukraine’s future in the EU,” Logar said.