By: Tomaž S. Medved
We reported on the first “slips” of the new Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, who is obviously playing a rather double game. This was also shown during the visit of the Vice-President of the Ukrainian Parliament Olena Kondratiuk, who two days ago came to thank Fajon for supporting Slovenia – but apparently the Ukrainian guest is not aware of the double game between Golob’s government and its godparents.
As is well known, the former Prime Minister Janez Janša, together with the then Foreign Minister Anže Logar, called for the enlargement of the European Union to the east, especially after Ukraine refused to join NATO and tried to achieve quick EU membership, to which “core Europe” did not agree. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian authorities continue to seek support from individual EU members ahead of the June EU Council summit to give Ukraine EU candidate status. Cynically speaking, the Vice President of the Verkhovna Rada arrived in Slovenia at least two weeks too late, as she could only confide Ukraine’s expectations to Tanja Fajon, who during Janša’s government sharply criticised the government’s policy towards Ukraine and stressed the need to also talk to Vladimir Putin. Because it is not about Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but about the “Russian-Ukrainian conflict”. At the time, Janša even emphasised that if the EU did not expand, someone else would. So now Fajon, who is enjoying the fruits of the previous government’s work, is inventing hot water, and behaving as if the previous government blocked Ukraine’s path to the EU.
Fajon in the footsteps of Kučan, but still not decisive enough?
In fact, on the one hand, it is fun to watch Fajon take care of her political image, although it will be difficult to convince the European public that the government, she works for is not pro-Russian. “Slovenia wants Ukraine to win this war,” said Minister Fajon, mentioning that she and her interlocutor discussed Slovenia’s humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, for which Kondratiuk thanked Slovenia. Well, Fajon, of course, obviously could not really tell her guests that there would be no more such help in the future, after all, she herself criticised the previous government for this aid, stressing that we can only stop the war with diplomatic means, and not with military aid (which we wrote about yesterday). In doing so, she repeated what Milan Kučan had already said publicly at the beginning of the Russian aggression on Ukraine, when he blamed both sides for the events and later softened his views, saying that the West was burned because it did not stop Hitler in time. But this was, of course, only a clever diplomatic manoeuvre, which was supposed to mitigate the consequences of the original statements, when Kučan said in a statement to the media at the “rally for peace” that war should not happen, nor what caused it and what “gave Putin a reason to do so”. And of course, God forbid that we send weapons to Ukrainians, because that would only make the situation worse.
Truth be told, Kučan did not change his position, he just camouflaged it. Now that the new elections and the new “free” government, which yesterday kindly welcomed its cadres into a coalition through a skilful manoeuvre of self-dissolution of the LMŠ, can continue with the agenda set in mid-May 1990, when the YPA disarmed the Slovenian TO, and the presidency of the Republic of Slovenia stopped the campaign very late, although Kučan knew about it at least a few days earlier. This was not (yet) the end of the problems: Kučan did not want to attend the event in December 1990, when the muster of the first (renewed) TO took place a few days before the plebiscite. Instead, he was replaced by the then Prime Minister Lojze Peterle, who at the time also uttered the famous phrase that it “smelled like the Slovenian army”.
Kučan also avoided participating in some later events related to the Slovene Armed Forces (the Premik ’91 exercise, for example), and was replaced by Ivan Oman on behalf of the presidency. But the culmination of all was the Declaration of Peace, which in the most sensitive period between the plebiscite and Day D demanded nothing less than the unilateral disarmament of Slovenia. The declaration had a very negative effect on TO members, especially because it was also signed by Kučan and three other members of the presidency, which was the Supreme Command of the Slovenian Armed Forces, as well as a small part of Demos party. With a special letter from the then Minister of Defence Janez Janša, things calmed down, but the bitter taste remained, as the declaration was applauded mainly in Belgrade in military circles.
Declaration of Peace 2.2
Has Kučan now decided to export a newer version of the Declaration of Peace to Ukraine? Namely, after the first introductory bars of the “dance” of Golob’s team, he apparently decided to “encourage horses” and force the government to act faster. Yesterday, some regime media reported that there were 18 “prominent Slovenes”, including Kučan and Danilo Türk (as well as some well-known representatives of the hard core of the transitional left, such as Rudi Rizman, Vlado Miheljak, Svetlana Slapšak, Rastko Močnik…) addressed a call to the government to “reasonably form a position on Ukraine”, whatever that means. As if to say that the government should implement the commitments from the coalition agreement that in the field of foreign and defence policy it will be based on the “constitutional principle of peace policy and a culture of peace and non-violence”. Thus, they note that the conflict has passed a hundredth day, that the occupying forces have occupied and are controlling a fifth of Ukrainian territory, and that all previous sanctions have not shaken Putin’s determination to continue the aggression.
But that is not all: the Western armament of Ukrainian forces contributes to the strength of their resistance, but there is no real possibility that they could completely expel the aggressor from their territory, the signatories claim. “The more sophisticated weapons Ukraine receives; the more weapons Russia activates. Thus, the war is prolonging and escalating into a protracted positional war, which brings long-lasting killing and destruction, and with the rise in energy and grain prices, it holds Europe and much of the world hostage. Due to the costliness and hunger in poor countries, we can expect a new, even worse wave of refugees,” they wrote. Therefore, they believe that the West and Slovenia, as part of it, must find alternative approaches to the Ukrainian war, one that would prepare the Russian and Ukrainian leaderships for serious peace talks. Prime Minister Robert Golob, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, and the entire cabinet are therefore urged, with the support of the Brussels National Assembly, to raise the issue, which should lead to a “concrete and feasible European peace offer acceptable to both warring parties”. “The cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of the occupying forces, and the implementation of the 2014 and 2015 mine agreements for eastern Ukraine are not realistically possible unless both countries receive international security guarantees. These for Russia include suspending the further expansion of NATO and the US military presence towards Russian territory. There is a need to build a new security architecture in Europe, driven by NATO’s expansion to the east of the continent.”
What did the “peacekeepers” overlook?
Well, a rather misleading position, considering how Kučan spoke soon after his “turn” about the repetition of mistakes from 80 years ago, when the West made excessive concessions to Adolf Hitler. Namely, “Declaration for Peace 2.2”, which seeks to remind the hard core of the quasi-left government to speed up the implementation of its pro-Kremlin policy, means nothing more than the need to throw Ukrainians to the Moscow lions, although the vocabulary seems very diplomatic. But the main message, as always, is between the lines. All this intellectual community has smoothly overlooked the facts pointed out in the book “Winter is Coming” by former chess champion and political activist Gary Kasparov – that Vladimir Putin’s more than 20-year rule hides authoritarianism, corruption, and the new Bolshevism. After all, the attack on Ukraine began as early as 2014 with the violent annexation of Crimea and the attacks on eastern Ukraine. The open aggression against Ukraine was just a continuation of this project and at the same time Putin’s response to the West’s concessions – after all, Russia occupied South Ossetia in 2008 and all indications are that Georgia will have to give up this part of its territory. And now Kučan’s “peacekeepers” are putting Ukraine and Russia on the same level and demanding some kind of peace negotiations from which the Russian Federation will be able to increase its territory, while blaming the US and NATO enlargement for the conflict? Unbelievable. According to Kučan and Türk, who lost the last bit of credibility after the debacle at the UN, the West should have stood still even when Hitler’s troops invaded France and look for an opportunity to negotiate a “new compromise”?
For Moscow crumbs, Ukrainians would be thrown to the lions
But perhaps this new version of the “peace declaration” after just a week of Golob’s government is a reflection that the transition privatisation elite is in a hurry. While new and new data on the shameless enrichment of the current Prime Minister at the time when he was the head of GEN-I are coming to light, yesterday LMŠ also quickly self-deprecated and joined the Gibanje Svoboda party, although it seemed at first that they would wait with this move until the fall. Jani Möderndorfer, a former member of parliament who became a member of the Gibanje Svoboda party without moving from one party to another, will probably be most pleased with these moves. But it is obvious that the government will obviously set its priorities in a very bizarre way: while it will take a lot of time to “study” concrete measures to curb food and energy prices (like former Prime Minister Miro Cerar), it will, on the other hand, rush to staff clean-up at all levels. For example, they started destroying the director of the National Museum, Pavel Car, who was to blame for the cancelled “plagiarism” exhibition on modernism, which, according to some socio-political media workers, was “the biggest cultural scandal in independent Slovenia so far”. But the director’s main fault lies solely in the fact that he was appointed during the previous government.
However, the reason is probably that Kučan and his people are in a hurry to direct the government towards Moscow, perhaps in the fact that they expect many personal benefits from Putin’s regime and perhaps even help in the modern “Sovietisation” of Slovenian society. Let us recall: Yugoslav Defence Minister Veljko Kadijević travelled to Moscow (several times) in 1991 due to similar inclinations in search of Soviet assistance in carrying out a military coup in the disintegrating SFRY. For now, they cannot expect greater financial benefits from Moscow unless Russia compensates for the loss due to sanctions on business with China, Turkey, and Arab countries. And it is not entirely impossible that some Slovenian companies will not continue to do business with the Russians despite the embargo – let us recall that in a similar way NLB laundered Iranian money years ago, which was also related to the embargo against the regime in Tehran. The timeline of this statement by eighteen “academics” is also not surprising: it came to light only a day after the visit of the aforementioned Ukrainian politician. Was it perhaps because Fajon sent too many pro-Ukraine messages to the public? Either way, stopping military aid to Ukraine would certainly mean only one thing: to finally throw Ukrainians into the clutches and teeth of Putin’s lions.