By: Sara Kovač/ Nova24tv
The personnel moves of the new Prime Minister Robert Golob are causing quite a stir. One of his most controversial decisions was the appointment of the Secretary of State for National Security. Žan Mahnič has been replaced by the Russophile Andrej Benedejčič at a time when we are witnessing Russian aggression against Ukraine. On top of all that, we need to remember that the Left party (Levica), which hates the fact that Slovenia is a member of the international political-military organisation NATO, is also part of the coalition – and this is an important thing to note.
At the outset, it must be acknowledged that Andrej Benedejčič has an enviable diplomatic career. From 2009 to 2011, he was the Director-General of the Directorate for Global Affairs and Political Multilateralism at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; from 2011 to 2015, he was the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to NATO, where he was appointed by the then-President of the Republic, Danilo Türk. Between the years 2015 and 2019, he was the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the OSCE. However, in light of the war in Ukraine, the fact that he was an ambassador to Russia between the years 2005 and 2008, and the affair that erupted in September 2014, are particularly difficult to overlook.
The affair has miraculously been forgotten
According to investigative journalist Bojan Požar, Andrej Benedejčič is considered a “great Russophile.” However, officially, he is considered to be an admirer of Russian art. He usually begins his television appearances by quoting the Russian writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky. According to some media outlets, he was accused of being a Russian agent and spying for Russia as a Slovenian representative at NATO headquarters in Brussels. And according to the media outlet Požareport, Poland was the country behind these accusations in 2014.
On top of all that, Benedejčič was also accused of speaking Russian at diplomats’ meetings, and allegedly, they have even had to hide official documents from him at the NATO headquarters. Benedejčič, of course, denied everything. It is interesting how, in light of the affair where he was accused of spying for Russia, the mainstream media completely forgot about all of it. Of course, this is just a “coincidence.” But given that the war in Ukraine, the cause of which is Russian aggression, has now been going on for more than 100 days already, it is extremely unusual for Golob to appoint a person like Benedejčič as head of national security. “Well, some of our sources point out that Benedejčič’s arrival at the helm of Slovenian national security must be seen primarily in the – otherwise hidden – context of the Slovenian radical left, which won the April elections, wanting to ensure that Slovenia leaves NATO, which was also the pre-election slogan of the Left party (Levica), which is now part of Rober Golob’s government coalition,” Požar revealed.
Whoever has followed the activities of the Left party so far knows that the party opposes NATO membership and, as such, would have no problem if the Slovenian Army was “buried alive.” They live in an imaginary bubble, believing that security is something to be taken for granted. Požar believes that the appointment of Benedejčič is not a coincidence. After Marjan Šarec and Damir Črnčec took over the Ministry of Defence, national security has been taken over by a diplomat who is strongly in favour of Vladimir Putin’s country. It is undoubtedly interesting how NATO is not even mentioned in the coalition agreement between the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje svoboda), the Social Democrats (Socialni Demokrati) and the Left.
It also cannot be ignored that Šarec, as the new Minister of Defence, is publicly explaining how the Slovenian Army will return to the concept of territorial defence and even guerrilla warfare. This is most likely a position that is particularly to the liking of the Left party. However, Šarec, when he was just a candidate for the position of Minister of Defence, stated that Slovenia will remain a member of NATO. At this point, many people are wondering if the new Minister of Defence will soon change his mind. He will most likely just do what his right-hand man whispers to him – that person being Damir Črnčec, who once held the same position as Benedejčič now holds.
“And according to these same sources, there will come a time when the coalition against NATO will be formed (Črnčec, Benedejčič, the Left party, the non-governmental organisation Institute of the 8th of March, and similar members of the “civil society”), and Golob will be forced to stay quiet, since the leading candidates for the new President of the Republic are known to be against NATO, even though they do not dare to say so publicly just yet, and a referendum on Slovenia’s withdrawal from NATO will quickly be set up, and everyone will partake in it. Just like they did in the bizarre referendum of last July, when they accused Janez Janša of taking away our drinking water…” Požar added.