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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Turning To Russia: With Tanja Fajon, Slovenia Clearly Does Not Support Ukraine’s NATO Membership

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

“This escalation of the situation, and consequently Ukraine’s application or talks for a NATO membership, is very worrying,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon, who believes that it would be a major security risk if NATO were to decide whether or not to admit Ukraine as its member. Therefore, Fajon said, there should be a very good discussion held at the level of state politics about where this situation is leading us. “Slovenia is in favour of a policy of peace and dialogue, but any such decision-making leads away from the possibility of calming the situation and towards the escalation of the war, which is something nobody wants,” she added, according to the Slovenian Press Agency. Newspaper Delo also reports that, unlike the previous government of Janez Janša, the current government of Robert Golob is no longer in the group of countries that are most vocal in their support of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon said that Slovenia, like many major allies, is reluctant to admit Ukraine to NATO because of the high security risks. “If NATO were to decide on the admission of Ukraine, it could be a clear sign of the beginning of the war,” she said on the sidelines of a business event in Vitanje, as reported by the Slovenian Press Agency. Responding to a journalist’s question about possible support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO, she pointed out that Slovenia is doing its best to help Ukraine with humanitarian, development and military aid and will continue to do so for as long as Ukraine might need it.

When asked whether talks were already underway at the national level, in relation to Ukraine’s NATO membership, she said that last week, Poland had launched a statement which indirectly indicated support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO, which Slovenia had not joined. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced last Friday, after Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions, that Ukraine would apply for a fast-track NATO membership. The presidents of nine Central and Eastern European NATO member states have already expressed their support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO over the weekend. According to some unofficial information, 12 countries currently support Ukraine’s accession, and the list was allegedly also confirmed by President Zelenskyy’s office.

In the past, we have already pointed out that the Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD), the president of which is Tanja Fajon, is pushing Slovenia into the arms of Putin’s Russia – and this was only further demonstrated by the move of the Social Democrats’ MP Predrag Baković, who, as the president of the Slovenian Foreign Policy Committee, did not sign the joint statement of the presidents of the parliamentary committees on EU affairs and presidents of the parliamentary committees of EU foreign affairs, which expressed support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Baković may have been reluctant to sign the statement because it underlines the commitment to continue to provide political, military, economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine in its fight against Russian armed aggression. In public, the Social Democrats party likes to emphasise how it is supposedly standing on the side of those whose human rights are being violated, but if that were the case, there should be no dilemma in this case either, because it is quite clear who is the aggressor and who is the victim in this war!

Slovenian Democratic Party believes that the Slovenian government’s reactions are too late and not decisive enough when it comes to reactions to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine
Unlike the government of Janez Janša, the government of Robert Golob is no longer among the most vocal European Union countries in support of Ukraine, reports the Delo newspaper, in which journalist Uroš Esih explains that the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) believes that the Slovenian government’s reactions are too late and not decisive enough, when it comes to reactions to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. Last Friday, the SDS parliamentary group requested an urgent meeting of the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Assembly, which is chaired by Predrag Baković. They argued that Baković had not joined the joint statement on invalid and illegal referendums, which was signed by chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the parliaments of Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Lithuania, Romania, France, Germany and the Netherlands. According to Baković, the SDS party was just a bit faster than him in the request for convening the extraordinary session of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as he was supposed to have signed the declaration last Friday, which was still within the deadline set by the proposer.

“We follow, but we do not lead”
The Slovenian National Assembly and the Foreign Affairs Committee must send a strong signal that they condemn the holding and the results of the illegal Russian referendums in Ukraine, the SDS party believes, and President of the Republic Borut Pahor shares a similar position. “We do not and will never recognise Russia’s attempt to annex Ukrainian territory. We will consult with our friends, partners and allies on how we can continue together to help Ukraine in its struggle.” Political analyst Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič told the Delo newspaper that what matters more than how quickly top foreign policy representatives react is what position Slovenia will take within the Council of the European Union. “We follow, but we do not lead,” Lisjak Gabrijelčič described the change in approach towards Russia with the arrival of Golob’s government, adding that Golob is more interested in the area of energy policy. Lisjak Gabrijelčič then said that Golob was fulfilling his pre-election promises when he announced that Slovenia will no longer be “going solo,” but would instead follow the European Union’s consensus. Perhaps. Or perhaps it will continue to signal to Russia that it has not lost all its allies.

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