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Janez Janša’s Visit to Kyiv Goes Far Beyond What Some Domestic Political, Pre-election, or Merely Vile Comments Are Suggesting

The unprovoked brutal aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine has resulted in uniform condemnations and effective measures, including sanctions, as well as swift and effective assistance from the European Union and other European countries. But at the same time, “part of the domestic opposition and editors are continuing with their political persecution and accusations against the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and its Prime Minister, who is currently on a mission in Ukraine, by perversely spreading their dilemmas and eternal doubts among the social democrats of Europe, among their colleagues at a joint meeting in the Bundestag,” said the former Minister of Defence, Jelko Kacin, adding that this is even more difficult to understand if and when a former journalist, RTV’s correspondent from Brussels and the possible future Prime Minister does it – with this, he was, of course, referring to Tanja Fajon. “They are full of empty promises about peace, and, at the same time, they continue to incite and plant political mines at home. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is probably happy about that,” Kacin said, adding that this was the so-called Slovenian domestic political context.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Janez Janša, together with the Prime Ministers of Poland and the Czech Republic, Mateusz Morawiecki and Petr Fiala, visited Kyiv – they passed on the message to Ukraine that it is a European country and that it will soon be on the European Union path too. With this, Janša also thanked Ukraine for defending Europe and the fundamental European values. The three prime ministers are the first three leaders to visit the Ukrainian capital after the Russian invasion, so the world’s media attention was focused on them during this venture, and the retired US Genera,l Wesley K. Clark, told CNN that this was a visit of great importance. “It’s a remarkable story. It can be compared to a visit to London during World War II. It takes a great deal of courage to visit Kyiv at a time like this,” he said – and practically all of the world’s public agrees with him on this – except for part of a certain political option, led by the President of the Social Democrats of Slovenia (Socialni demokrati – SD), Tanja Fajon.

“The responses of my colleagues from the Social Democratic Party of Germany in Bundestag to Janša’s visit to Kyiv are mixed – some say it sends the wrong signal, while others believe it is a sign of solidarity. However, the prevailing assessment is that it is a pity that one of the first people to visit Ukraine is the ally of the same destroyers of peace and democracy. A farce put on to make us forget which side they are actually on,” Fajon tweeted, in her typical style, missing the opportunity to just not comment on this. What’s more, she added that the prime ministers who are currently visiting Ukraine are autocrats, anti-democrats, destroyers of democracies, who are doing what Vladimir Putin has been doing for years.
“They are full of empty promises about peace, and, at the same time, they continue to incite and plant political mines at home. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is probably happy about that,” the former Minister of Information, Jelko Kacin, commented on Fajon’s tweet. He said that such accusations, made by the people who claim that this is a stunt, using the tragedy of the Ukrainian people for personal political gain, say more about the authors of the accusations than the content of the allegations themselves. It is a fact that, unlike the Social Democrats party, experts in foreign policy and international relations have all welcomed the meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

This is a great move, as an alliance of Central European countries is being established
The first Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Dimitrij Rupel, said that Janez Janša’s trip to Kyiv reminded him of his and Bavčar’s trip to Sarajevo in 1992. “This trip will be useful for our Prime Minister, but it is also dangerous. I also imagine that the opposition will interpret it maliciously – as it did when it came to our trip to Sarajevo,” he said, explaining that the trip to Kyiv is, of course, important because of the other two prime ministers (Polish and Czech), with whom the Slovenian Prime Minister is travelling there. Rupel believes that this is a great move, as an alliance of Central European countries is being established, which has more weight in the EU and NATO than individual countries do. “With this, we can also point out that the Russians (with Yeltsin) in 1991 or 1992 created similar turning points as the Slovenians, Poles and Czechs, and Ukraine followed not long after, in 2004 with Yushchenko. Three Central European countries and Ukraine have insisted on their ground-breaking decisions, while Russia is returning to the tradition of the Cold War, the bloc division, the Soviet Union, or perhaps even Stalin. Of course, it would be even better if the European Union had greater diplomatic and military power and the President of Europe spoke on its behalf. Perhaps this visit to Kyiv is a good starting point for a new European constitutional debate,” said the long-time diplomat.

The visit of European leaders to Kyiv goes far beyond what some domestic political, pre-election, or merely vile comments are suggesting
Slovenia’s first Minister of the Interior, Igor Bavčar, also believes that Tuesday’s visit of the three European leaders goes far beyond what some domestic political, pre-election or merely vile comments of some people in Slovenia are suggesting. According to him, this is a manifestation of solidarity, moral support and the European perspective of Ukraine, which is at war, and at the same time, it is an image of a new Europe, not just the European Union – an image that inspires hope in these dark hours. “When Rupel and I visited Sarajevo, in the midst of the Serbs’ attacks on it, we arrived there on a German military plane delivering food and medicine to the population, and this was also an act of Slovenian solidarity with Bosnia and Herzegovina. From Sarajevo, Slovenia informed the world and the European community that this war must end and that we must protect the inhabitants and the city. At that time, unfortunately, Europe did not have the strength it seems to have today when it comes to Ukraine,” Bavčar also compared both important events of Slovenian foreign policy.

This is an extremely important act of support for the Ukrainian state, its sovereignty and independence, on behalf of the entire European Union
Renowned diplomat and long-time ambassador Dr Božo Cerar assessed that the visit of the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia to Kyiv, represents much more than just the first high-level visit from abroad after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He believes that this is an extremely important act of support for the Ukrainian state, its sovereignty and independence, on behalf of the entire European Union, in these crucial moments. Crucial not only for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe. “Ukraine is deciding on the free and democratic future of the entire continent. This really brave support has come at the perfect time. Let’s just think back to three decades ago, how important it was for us to meet with foreign representatives and how important their voice of support was and how much the realisation that we were not alone during the Yugoslav aggression meant to us,” Cerar pointed out. He also emphasised that in recent years, Slovenia and the Slovenian government have been pursuing an active foreign policy, as they are aware that smaller countries must also take their share of responsibility for the state of international relations. Ever since the last Russian aggravation and then the aggression on neighbouring Slavic and democratic Ukraine, our country has been among the most active members of the EU in its efforts to maintain peace and then to stop the aggressor. “The visit of Prime Minister Janša to the besieged Kyiv shows that we are aware that words must also be followed by actions – courageous actions,” Cerar added.

Fajon is back in action with her import/export afternoon activities
And while the praise comes not only from domestic experts but from all over the world – including from NATO, the European Council and the European Commission, Fajon is apparently once again taking care of the export and re-import of “public or expert opinion” – namely, certain Slovenian media outlets reported recently that an “important source from Brussels” said that the three prime ministers did not have a formal mandate from the European Council to travel to Ukraine. The Social Democrats MP Matjaž Nemec also commented on this statement, saying that the action was not coordinated with the EU and that it also informally provoked heated responses from Brussels. Well, we did not manage to find out who this “high-ranking unnamed Brussels official” was, but he was also quoted by Dave Keating, a journalist who is known for his criticism of Janša – and Slovenian anti-Janšaistic politics also happily quoted Keating all day. Klemen Mesarec Hercog from the ranks of the SD party also joined the criticism with a rather primitive but also very telling comment (that says a lot about him): “Diplomacy is not for peasants.”

Given that criticism of every move made by the current Prime Minister seems to be the only mission of the so-called Constitutional Arch Coalition parties (left-wing parties of the current opposition), it would be interesting to see how these same parties would react if they found themselves leading the country during a time of crisis – whether it be an epidemic or a war. We asked political analyst Miran Videtič for his opinion, who estimated that we would probably witness a mixture of Fajon-Šarec policies. “It does not even make sense to talk about Luka Mesec or the new face of the left, Robert Golob. On the one hand, we have Fajon’s complete dependency on the German Social Democrats and their government – by the way, if the issue of Russian aggression and aid to Ukraine depended on the passivity of the new German government, the Russians would probably already be in Warsaw right now, not just in Kyiv – and then, on the other hand, we have Šarec’s agenda, which is ‘I don’t have to think about anything, I will just do what the others say,'” Videtič described what the Constitutional Arch Coalition’s rule would look like in a state of emergency.

Videtič actually believes that since Dr Janez Drnovšek, Slovenia has not had a politician on the left-wing pole who has an extensive international network of relations, with the exception of the current President of the Republic, Borut Pahor. “Therefore, as far as Slovenia is concerned, Janša’s determined foreign policy stance is something that currently places us among the serious players within the EU,” said the analyst, who said that public opinion was also in Janša’s favour. Namely, the Slovenian nation immediately – with the exception of the most ardent “anti-Janša” representatives, meaning the left-wing part of the opposition and its godfathers, certain media outlets and the extreme left-wing bubbles on social networks – sided with the victim, with the attacked, and the Prime Minister did exactly what an experienced politician should do: represent the position of the nation and its people and act within these frameworks. Let us also remind you that in the past, we already had such politicians who did not act in the best interest of the state in the field of foreign policy but instead worked for their own interests. “Quite a few of them took the position of prime minister or president of the republic; we even had some prosecutors like that, not just politicians, as far as I remember,” Videtič was critical, quoting a Croatian columnist who wrote the following statement months ago: “There are only two kinds of people – you’re either a friend or an asshole.” And in this terrible situation, it turned out that not only in Slovenia but also throughout Europe, the left pole is in a serious dilemma, while also being very insecure and empty in its content, while having a completely wrong set of priorities. Instead of dealing with security, economic issues, and the quality of people’s lives in Europe, they are concerned with how many genders we know, how to gently erase the word “Christmas,” and how to satisfy the appetites of the main financier of the Open Society. Which is actually really horrible!

Sara Bertoncelj

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