Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that “we must do everything in our power, use all diplomatic means for a diplomatic solution to the dispute” between Russia and Ukraine, as he spoke to the press after a session of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.
Before the session, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU would not follow in the footsteps of the US, which is withdrawing family members of staff at its embassy in Ukraine from the country over a continuing threat of military action from Russia.
Borrell said he could not see any reason for such a move until talks were continuing with Russia, as he spoke to the press before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefed the EU’s foreign ministers via video call about the reasons for the US decision.
Logar said after the session Borrell had clearly said that the EU’s diplomatic delegation remains in Ukraine with all staff, and added that the delegation itself also saw no reason for any change at the moment.
Asked whether the US decision meant a war was close, Logar said that “it’s not an announcement of an expected course of events”.
As for Slovenia providing direct help to Ukraine, Logar said that a decision had not yet been taken. If it decides to do so, the public will be promptly informed, he added.
The minister noted, however, that the question of helping Ukraine is up to each individual EU country, it is not subject to harmonisation at EU level.
The Foreign Ministry told the STA Slovenia was not planning to reduce its diplomatic staff in Kyiv for the time being and was coordinating all activities with other EU countries.
As to the Ukraine travel advice, the ministry said the general recommendation published on its website remained valid.
Slovenian citizens are advised against all travel to the temporarily occupied areas of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and certain parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk.
This is because the Slovenian Embassy in Kyiv cannot provide consular assistance to the Slovenian citizens that would encounter difficulties in those regions.
The ministry also expressed Slovenia’s concern about the buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. “We are calling for de-escalation and a diplomatic solution while welcoming efforts by the European External Action Service and allies in that direction,” it said.
The ministry noted that Slovenia is providing support to Ukraine within its NATO membership. In case of potential escalation, it called for a unified and fast response in coordination with the alliance and other international partners.
The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council discussed the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border, as well as the situation in Libya and Syria.
By: J.S., STA