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Sunday, July 14, 2024

The transitional left and its dance with the devil

By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv

In these days, (almost) all prominent politicians are appalled and condemn Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine, especially in recognition of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. But there were golden times when Slovenian leftists made a pilgrimage to Moscow with their heads held high. The latter is considered the Mecca of the transitional left. A true leftist shows his humility and orthodoxy by visiting Dražgoše and Red Square. It is no wonder that we are considered to be the most pro-Russian country in the EU in Europe and the world. This was confirmed by Putin’s visit to Slovenia at a time of severely aggravated political situation in 2016. Some prominent leftists who made their way to the Russian capital: Milan Kučan, Zoran Janković and Anja Kopač Mrak. Some other prominent Russophiles: Aleksander Čeferin, Drago Šketa, Karl Erjavec and Marjan Šarec.

According to STA, on Monday evening the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin recognised the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, which lie in the east of Ukraine. He also signed a decree on their recognition and sent the army to their territory. Diplomatic relations have also been established with the entities. Recall that their territory under international law still belongs to Ukraine. An avalanche of critics has been levelled at Putin and Russia from Europe and the world. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced that Germany is suspending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and Britain has also responded to Putin’s recognition with economic measures aimed at five Russian-owned banks and three oligarchs.

The behaviour of the largest country in the world was also condemned by Slovenian MEPs and most parties in the Slovenian parliament. However, the Levica party has problems with this – Matej T. Vatovec abused the situation to attack the purchase of much-needed military equipment for the Slovenian army and NATO, while he spared Putin and Russia. Then the extreme leftist Miha Kordiš also attacked. SDM Secretary General Nejc Brence responded to his controversial statement: “The entire democratic world condemns Russian aggression and the attack on Ukraine, and the Slovenian KUL left strongly supports Putin. This is the foreign policy they promise – that the Slovenian compass will turn towards Russia again. We are just waiting for the delegation that will be sent in support.” Certainly, with all this happening on the left, there is some unease about the past moves of its prominent political representatives.

The apparent or external condemnation does not hide the fact that the successors of the KPS in Europe and the world for years and years nurtured the image of Slovenia as (supposedly) the most pro-Russian country within the EU. Such orientation also had Slovenian diplomacy until the appearance of the third government of Janez Janša, when it reopened to the world. Let us recall how a few years ago Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to Ljubljana Sheriff Zoran Janković and Minister of Labour Anja Kopač Mrak. The Russian President praised them for their contribution to strengthening relations between the two nations and for preserving the memory of the soldiers of the Russian and Soviet armies who died in Slovenia during the world wars. The award was presented to them by Putin at a solemn reception in Kremlin. However, the visit of the General State Prosecutor Drago Šketa to Moscow recently caused quite a stir in the public. He caused a real scandal when he travelled to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Russian prosecutor’s office, at a time when Russia has almost started a war and new EU and NATO sanctions are on the horizon.

Russia recently disbanded the Memorial Centre for Human Rights

On this important unique occasion, a rich programme was promised at the Bolshoi Theatre, and the main celebration was to take place in Kremlin, where they were to be received by Russian President Putin. At the same time, we can recall that the Russian prosecutor’s office is an extended term of power and is actively persecuting opponents and critics of this government, which is why any democratic prosecutor’s office should boycott such invitations to celebrations. As we have also learned, the case of Šketa is a serious matter that could turn into an international scandal, which could damage the reputation of the Republic of Slovenia. Namely, the Slovenian government is striving for closer relations with countries from the democratic circle of countries where respect for human rights and other democratic principles are at the top of the list of values. Russia has recently disbanded the Memorial Centre for Human Rights, it does not respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, according to Amnesty International peaceful protests are banned, and authorities are persecuting journalists and LGBT representatives.

In 2017, even the last party leader Milan Kučan was in Moscow. For him, the visit was so important at the time that he even missed the “Party orgy” on the day of Ljubljana, May 9th, with his friend Zoran Janković. The Murgle chief was in Moscow for a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the day of the victory over fascism (May 10th), as evidenced by photos posted by the Kremlin on its official website. Kučan travelled to Moscow as the head of a “delegation of Slovenian veterans of the Second World War”, which was also reported by the pro-Russian internet portal RBTH Slovenia. The trip to Russia was paid for by Kučan and his company by the office of the Russian president. Požareport reported that Putin sent a state plane to Jože Pučnik Airport. We have also already reported on close ties between Moscow and the UEFA President. Recall: Norwegian Josimar revealed, among other things, that the Russians installed Aleksander Čeferin as a candidate for president of UEFA.

Only the SDS, NSi and SD parties publicly distanced themselves from the Russian aggression. The other parties fell silent, and a radical member of the Levica accused NATO of aggression.

The failed politician Erjavec is also one of the greatest Russophiles

And finally, the great Russophile Karl Erjavec, one of the worst ministers of all time, who completely burned down last year not only politically but also (in general) in his career and his private spheres. Some time ago, the Croatian Globus called him “the most primitive European foreign minister”. But his remarkable relations with Russia and Putin did not seem to be spoiled by this. The former foreign minister is said to have excellent relations, especially with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Some time ago, Erjavec was even called a Russophile with an agenda. Both Erjavec and Kučan are said to be considered informal Russian “ambassadors” to Slovenia. And the former Prime Minister Miro Cerar has turned Slovenia into the most pro-Russian enclave within the EU. Let us remember that there is no doubt that Slovenia’s foreign policy, led by the transitional left, was pro-Russian.

This remained the case during the rule of Marjan Šarec, where former Prime Minister Cerar served as foreign minister, while his predecessor Karl Erjavec moved to where he began his career as minister – to the Ministry of Defence. As is well known, Cerar’s government has paid two ceremonial visits to the annual chapel at the Russian chapel in Vršič – so far both Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Russian President Vladimir Putin have attended the ceremony, with which Slovenia, although a member of NATO, received the stamp of the most pro-Russian European country.

In the Youth Forum, it is difficult to hide sympathy for the autocratic regime

There are also big Russophiles in the Social Democrats and its youth – the Youth Forum. While they have so far not been able to protest in front of the Russian embassy for human rights violations, especially in the case of the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, they are otherwise quite loud when it comes to protecting human rights. At the same time, they do not miss the opportunity to socialise with those who symbolise the authoritarian Russian rule in Slovenia. Let us recall how the SD Youth Forum did not miss the opportunity to visit the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana.

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