The weekly Družina published on its Facebook profile an excerpt from an interview it published in 2000 with the leader of the Pan-European Movement, the now deceased Otto von Habsburg. As is well known, Otto von Habsburg, the heir to the ruling dynasty, strongly supported Slovenia’s independence process in 1991.
After the resignation of the first president of the independent Russian Federation (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) Boris Yeltsin in 1999, the then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, came to power. The journalist of Bogomir Štefanič family asked the leader of the Pan-European Movement why the rapid and wide-ranging enlargement of the European Union to the East is so important, which is a step towards lasting peace in the global arena.
Otto von Habsburg said the following:
“What is particularly worrying is what is happening in Russia. You know, when a man reaches a certain age – I will turn 88 this year – then he has seen almost everything – and the opposite. And today so many things in politics remind me of a time when we were sliding towards World War II. In his day, almost no one took seriously what Hitler was saying. In his last speech before the European Parliament in a foreign policy debate, Enrico Belinguer, an Italian communist, and a member of the European Parliament for several years, said a very important sentence: “Take seriously what the Russians tell you.” And the Russians are telling us damn serious things today that we hardly notice. I am sometimes asked what the fact that Vladimir Putin took over from Yeltsin means. Does this mean that the KGB has taken over? Yes, Putin is a KGB man, but we hear little about it. Then there is Pavel Borodin, a man you hardly hear about in our press, although a lot of knowledge shows that he is the second most important man in Russia. As Secretary of State, he is responsible for connecting Russia and Belarus. During his speech in Minsk, he described this integration as the first step towards the reunification of the former Soviet territory. After Belarus, other countries are expected to come, such as Ukraine, and his plans go further – to Serbia. This should be kept in mind in Slovenia. Let me point out another fact. Almost everyone in the world is disarming, and the new Russian budget brings a 50 percent increase in military spending. And that is what we pay for. It is just scary how blind we are sometimes. The European Community needs to think more about its security than in the past, and enlargement is an important instrument of that security. With it, we are expanding the boundaries of freedom, and this is the strongest guarantee of security.”
Prophetic words, what else.