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Prime Minister Janša in Kyiv: Ukrainians are fighting for European values

On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Janez Janša together with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Czech Prime Minister Peter Fialo met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv.

In a statement following the meeting, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that he decided to visit because he was aware of how Ukrainians feel these days. “Slovenia was in a similar situation three decades ago. We also fought for our freedom, independence, and for our lives,” said the Prime Minister, adding that the Slovenian nation is also in solidarity with Ukraine, including by collecting aid and helping women and children fleeing the war. “We are also trying to help by organising solidarity that reaches beyond the borders of our country,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are also here to convey to you the message of unified European support, which is important. We also bring you a message of full support for your European path and EU membership,” said the Prime Minister, adding that when we look at Europe today, none of the countries is fighting so hard for European values and the European way of life as the Ukrainian nation. He also thanked the Prime Minister and the President of Ukraine for information on the situation in Ukraine regarding humanitarian aid, military aid, and sanctions, as well as many other topics received by the Prime Ministers first hand. “We will pass on all this information to our friends from the European Council,” said the Prime Minister, adding that it is something completely different to observe events from a distance than if we see all this and get to know it up close.

The Prime Minister added that he was contacted by the OECD Secretary General on his way to Kyiv, who said that the OECD was preparing a large package on how to help Ukrainians rebuild the country after the war. “This will also be the topic of the next OECD meeting. We are here to tell you that your struggle is also our struggle and that we will win together. Glory to Ukraine,” concluded the Prime Minister.

After talks with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, the Slovenian, Polish and Czech Prime Ministers emphasised that they had come to show their support for Ukraine and at the same time called for Ukraine to receive the status of a candidate country for membership in the European Union as soon as possible.

“We are here because we admire your courage and fighting spirit, with which you are destroying the myth of the invincible Russian army. We are here because your struggle is also our struggle and because you are not only defending the territory of Ukraine, but defending something we call fundamental European values, namely freedom, democracy, and the right of everyone to choose their country,” said the Prime Minister Janez Janša at the press conference. He continued: “We are doing everything we can to help you, to help refugees from Ukraine, and we are aware that Ukraine also needs to be helped with weapons so that Ukraine can defend itself on land, in the sky, and at sea.”

“We are also here to deliver a message of unity within the EU, which is a complex family of 27 Member States. The EU supports your struggle, it supports your sovereignty, and this is something that has been achieved in a very short period of time compared to similar situations in history,” said the Prime Minister. He also stressed that Ukrainians should remain brave in these times. “Every path in Ukraine is a European path and we will do everything in our power to make all these paths the paths of the European Union, as Ukraine is also part of the EU family,” said the Prime Minister.

According to him, Ukraine is currently the country that defends the European values the most. According to the Prime Minister, the events in Ukraine also gave rise to the awareness that fundamental European values exist and that there are “Europeans who fight for them and defend them with their lives in Ukraine.”

“Thousands of people are coming to the streets and squares across all European Union countries to support you. You are not alone, you are part of the family, so stay brave, because together we will win,” concluded Prime Minister Janez Janša.

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