By: Domen Mezeg (Nova24tv)
“If the 15th of March 2022 was recorded in history as one of the most positive Slovenian milestones, as that was the day when Janez Janša visited Kyiv at the beginning of the war for the future of Ukraine and the EU, then the 7th of March 2023 is one of the most negative milestones, because the resolution to condemn Russia as a supporter of terrorism was rejected,” the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) MP Andrej Hoivik wrote when the resolution to declare Russia a supporter of terrorism was rejected.
Yesterday, the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia voted on a proposal from the Social Democrats Party for Slovenia to list Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The motion was tabled by the SDS parliamentary group, with Jelka Godec, head of the group, as the first signatory. The proposers wished that our country would adopt the resolution and thus show support for the victims of aggression, as well as express its condemnation of Russia’s attacks on the civilian population and on civilian and energy infrastructure. The proposers believe that this is a clear attempt by Russia to achieve political objectives by intimidating civilians, and it shows compliance with terrorist methodology.
The ruling Coalition rejected the draft resolution
The resolution would be a clear show of support for the Ukrainian people, who are defending their homeland, the universal values of freedom, and fighting for democracy. However, the ruling Coalition rejected the draft resolution in advance, thus showing leniency towards the occupier. The following people made excuses that actually protect the interests of the regime: Tanja Fajon, Robert Golob, Samuel Žbogar, Nataša Sukić, Tomaž Lah, Lenart Žavbi and Predrag Baković. Doubts about the sympathy for the Russian appetite were finally dispelled by the vote of the Committee, where the left-wing MPs defeated the proposal of the opposition group by nine votes to four. The – otherwise perfectly legitimate – decision of the coalition representatives also suggests a lack of compassion for human suffering.
The following are some comments of the SDS MPs about the resolution being rejected in the vote. Anže Logar: “The European Union’s behaviour in response to the Russian aggression shows an escalation of diplomatic pressure, as it has already adopted several sanctions packages. It would therefore be a good idea for Slovenia to follow this escalation of pressure and also clearly identify Russia as a terrorist state.” Janez Janša: “The resolution is an expression of solidarity with a suffering nation. The resolution itself was not drafted for domestic political reasons, but it is possible that it will be rejected for those reasons. Before voting on the adoption of the resolution on the classification of Russia as a terrorist state, just ask yourself who will be happy if the resolution is adopted and who will be happy if the resolution is rejected.”
Janša: “This is a predatory march by Russia, which wants the natural wealth of its neighbour.”
As Janša pointed out, people are dying, while members of the Committee are debating whether the right word to use is resolution or declaration. He believes that this is a predatory march by Russia, which wants to appropriate the natural wealth of its neighbour, which is an age-old motive for war. He pointed out that, in the 21st century, such behaviour, with all its atrocities, is worse than the definition of international terrorism.
SDS MP Anton Šturbej said that young people in Ukraine would much rather “take part in a climate strike than in a war.” He went on to explain that any money invested in defence is a deterrent to a potential attacker. The resolution to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism is not ideal, but it is a document that can be built on.
SDS MP Franc Breznik, for his part, accused the opponents of the resolution from the ruling parties of apparently believing that not only the SDS party, but even the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Union’s Legal Service, and the highest representatives of Europe, who had expressed their support for the resolution on the classification of Russia as a terrorist state, are wrong. He believes that Russian aggression is terrorism, which began in the KGB and has been continued by Vladimir Putin for decades, including in the attack on Ukraine, which is destabilising the whole of Europe. That is why the SDS MPs proposed that Slovenia adopt a resolution classifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Irgl: “Nobody is condemning the Russian people; we know this is Putin’s madness.”
Jožef Lenart, SDS MP, said: “We in the SDS party support the draft resolution on the overall long-term programme for the development and equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces until 2040. Members of the SDS party will continue to advocate that our army be equipped in a modern way.”
And SDS MP Eva Irgl believes that politically speaking, we Slovenians should be less mild and more proactive in our reaction to Russia and its aggression. As she pointed out, no one is condemning the Russian people, because we all know that this is Putin’s madness, but we need to send out a signal that we are opposed to this regime, and therefore, Russia should be declared a terrorist state.