Milan Kučan, with other signatories – left-wing intellectuals, cultural workers and even athletes, has sent a frightening letter to the public, which Moscow must be delighted to see, as it calls for an end to the arming of Ukraine, which is grist to the mill of Russia’s colonial policy.
The newspaper Dnevnik has published a new public letter with Milan Kučan as the first signatory, which is heavily leaning towards the Russian side, to the detriment of the invaded Ukraine. Since the start of the war, we have seen several such appeals, from the same people who are also known as the opponents of our independence and the “disarmers” of the Territorial Defence during the preparations for Slovenia’s independence and the attack from the Yugoslav People’s Army.
The authors of the letter deny Ukraine its autonomy and present it as a victim of the West and Russia, instead of as an independent sovereign state, completely ignoring the fact that Ukrainians have made a completely independent decision, which was supported by a majority, to turn away from the Kremlin and towards the European Union and NATO. To the path of progress, democracy and security, and away from poverty and corruption.
They would hand Ukraine over
Furthermore, the signatories stress, as they have done so many times before, their strong opposition to arming Ukraine – especially with the heavy offensive tanks, which are the key to a Ukrainian victory – but they even believe that the defeat of Putin will not bring peace to Europe. In their opinion, the end of authoritarian Russia will be a defeat for all of us. And above all, it will also be the end of the Russian-Slovenian friendship that the economic political network of Forum 21 has forged with the Putin regime.
You can read the letter in its entirety below:
“European statesmen, as in the First World War, are like sleepwalkers, surrendering themselves to the tide that leads to a possible new world war. The German Foreign Minister says we are at war with Russia. The Chairman of the NATO military committee assures us that the US-led group of countries is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia. At the same time, the president of the United States believes that the war in Ukraine is an imminent threat of nuclear Armageddon. The ominous rumour of a nuclear threat is coming from Moscow.
Ukraine is the victim of a proxy war between the two leading nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, over spheres of influence. Once upon a time, both powers were on the right side of history.
The heavy offensive tanks on the Ukrainian-Russian front further open the danger of a direct confrontation between Russia and the West on our own European soil. The speculation of military experts that a nuclear war is unlikely to take place is no guarantee of security.
But the accumulation of the most lethal weapons will not bring peace and stability to Europe. We are all losers in this war. The citizens of the EU, who are also paying for this war and its consequences, are also the losers here. The burden of the war will even be borne by future generations of Europeans. That is why European countries must also be involved in the decision to end the war.
We are asking EU governments to establish a new, long-term European security architecture that expresses the strategic interests of European countries to play a more active role in the world. It must be based on sovereignty, equality and respect for the security interests of all countries, including Russia, which will remain, in one way or another, a neighbour of the EU in the future.
We call on the EU, NATO and the Russian Federation to build on the European “Look East” policy of the former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, which brought decades of peace to our continent. To commit to updating and respecting the Helsinki Accords on peace and cooperation.
The political talk of losers and winners is at odds with the talk of peace. In this war, neither side can win. It can only be ended at the negotiating table. To negotiate is not to capitulate or to justify Russian aggression. To negotiate means to responsibly search for solutions and accept concessions on both sides with the aim of preventing more deaths and the escalation of evil.
We therefore expect you, the governments of the countries of the European Union, NATO, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, to build an alliance to stop the fighting, to stop further armaments and to start negotiations. The world of the future, peace, security, and the fight against climate change are also your responsibility! As is the life of our children and their descendants in a world without fear, a world that will guarantee the existence of humanity.
The governments of the European Union, NATO, the United States of America and the Russian Federation do not have a mandate for war! Do not bring it to our doorsteps.
Stop the war! Stop it now! You have that kind of power. And the responsibility to do so.”
The signatories of this pamphlet are: Milan Kučan, Danilo Türk, Spomenka Hribar, Niko Toš, Ema Kugler, Uroš Lipušček, Miroslav Cerar, Miran Goslar, Marjan Šetinc, Boris Vezjak, Rado Bohinc, Slavko Splichal, Darko Štrajn, Vito Turk, Lucija Čok, Rudi Rizman, Vinko Dolenc, Svetlana Slapšak, Peter Čeferin, Ivo Daneu, Aurelio Juri, Andrej Cetinski, Jože Pirjevec, Maca Jogan, Božidar Flajšman, Danijel Rebolj, Polona Jamnik, Stane Pejovnik, Ivan Svetlik, Jure Zdovc, Maja Breznik, Zoran Janković, Saša Arsenovič, Ladislav Lipič, Franco Juri, Vesna Mikolič, Vlado Miheljak, Mihael Naglič, dr. Drago Kos (profesor sociologije na FDV), Miloš Šonc, Zdravko Mlinar, Primož Šterbenc, Aleks Štakul, Bogomir Kovač, Milica Antić Gaber, Jožef Školč, Dušan Keber, Božo Repe, Tanja Rener, Stane Saksida, Mirjana Ule, Miroslav Gregorič, Silvo Devetak, Rado Riha, Emil Milan Pintar, Gorazd Kovačič, Mojca Drčar Murko, Jože Šušmelj, Jani Bavčer, Mitja Rotovnik, Boris Muževič, Polona Vetrih, Jože Mermal, Tone Vogrinc, Dušan Kumer, Rudi Zaman, Sonja Lokar, Bojan Križaj, Anton Rupnik, Slavko Pregl, Janez Winkler, Ivan Novak, Ivan Rudolf, Alenka Šelih, Bojko Bučar, Zvone Dragan, Martin Ivanič, Miloš Prosenc, Marjan Šiftar, Matjaž Kmecel, Rudi Zavrl.
Many Slovenians who fought for our independence and critical intellectuals have already responded to the letter
Former Prime Minister and President of the largest opposition party Janez Janša wrote: “It is no surprise that many of these signatories, with Kučan at the helm, are also signatories of the demand for the disarmament of Slovenia, which was signed just before the Yugoslav People’s Army’s aggression against Slovenia in February 1991. Which was two months after the plebiscite on our independence.” He also added the hashtag “#traitors.” Jelko Kacin wrote: “True, the Kremlin is pleasantly surprised. A similar appeal was signed in February 1991, but the Yugoslav People’s Army was not convinced. It was encouraged. Only the determined armed resistance of the Totalitarian Defence and the Militia, the military defeat in Slovenia in July of 1991, stopped the top of the Yugoslav People’a Army and brought it to its senses. “Déjà vu,” seen before. They are the same again.” Žiga Turk pointed out the irony of addressing Russia last in the letter: “I do not know why Putin’s honouree and his candidate for the UN did not put the Russian Federation as the first addressee: ‘We therefore expect you, the governments of the countries of the European Union, NATO, the United States of America and the Russian Federation…’”
Boštjan Perne wrote: “Peace is needed. As soon as possible. But not at any cost. Would it have been okay, for example, if Slovenians during the Second World War had been asked to negotiate peace with Italy, even if the Coastal region was left to the Italians? The list of signatories is interesting. Among them are people who have already expressed their pro-Russian views before.” Aleš Hojs also responded to the letter, writing: “The letter of the old communists who are ‘mediating’ in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, published by the Dnevnik newspaper, is, of course, aimed only at the domestic political scene, at deepening Russophilia and encouraging internal divisions. Who among the decision-makers abroad even knows who the red stars from this bubble are?”