STA, 24 February 2022 - Slovenia has condemned in the strongest terms the Russian attack on Ukraine, with Prime Minister Janez Janša saying it was unprecedented military aggression against the country and President Borut Pahor calling it a grave violation of international law and UN principles of peaceful resolution of disputes.
"Together with our @NATO and #EU allies we strongly condemn Russia's unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine. Russia must immediately withdraw its military and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity," Janša said on Twitter on Thursday.
"Introduce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Respect Obligations from Budapest Memorandum 1994," he wrote in another tweet, adding the hashtag #StandWithUkraine, in what is the Slovenian prime minister's response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which was launched today.
Janša later warned that "many nations will now try to develop their own nuclear arsenal" in the light of the events in Ukraine that constitute a violation of the Budapest Memorandum. "The world just crossed to hot hybrid war with unprecedented consequences."
In the afternoon, the Slovenian prime minister spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal on the phone.
Predsednik vlade ?? @JJansaSDS je danes opravil telefonski pogovor z ukrajinskim predsednikom vlade ?? @Denys_Shmyhal. pic.twitter.com/5RVA09bfIo— Vlada Republike Slovenije (@vladaRS) February 24, 2022
Janša tweeted that they had discussed "the situation after the Russian aggression, which is aimed at beheading the Ukrainian state and establishing a puppet government."
"But Ukraine is fighting and needs all our help. The battle for Ukraine is a battle for the EU," the prime minister added.
As a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, the country's flag was hoisted on the building housing the Government Palace and the Presidential Palace.
Ukrainian flags ?? hung in solidarity on government buildings in Slovenia.#StandWithUkriane ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/kM4LovgZaf— Janez Janša (@JJansaSDS) February 24, 2022
Janša is expected to attend today's emergency EU summit on the Ukraine crisis in Brussels. His flight to Ukraine, which had been announced yesterday before the situation further escalated, has been cancelled, according to the Slovenian Armed Forces.
President Pahor also took to Twitter to "condemn in the most resolute terms the Russian aggression on Ukraine."
He added that it was a "severe violation of international law and the UN principles of peaceful resolution of disputes", and that Slovenia expressed solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine.
In a statement for TV Slovenija, Pahor said that, by recognising two self-proclaimed independent regions in Ukraine, and in particular by launching a military attack on Ukraine, Russia violated international order and undermined European and international security.
He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia to immediately terminate the hostile activities, suspend the use of military force and give diplomacy a chance.
"Putin can establish mutual trust only if he immediately stops military operations and give dialogue a chance," Pahor said.
The president expressed the concern that this hostility and aggression could spill over from Ukraine to Moldova and Georgia all they way to the Western Balkans.
Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič also resolutely condemned the attack, writing on Twitter that it was an unlawful, unjustified and reprehensible act. He added that the EU must remain united and make every effort to achieve a ceasefire.
The government meanwhile held a closed-door meeting to discuss the situation in the wake of "Russia's aggression against Ukraine", Janša later announced on Twitter. It also took decisions to confirm the current NATO measures and to activate the required standby services. Janša added that the decisions would be presented to the parliamentary defence and foreign policy committees as soon as possible.
Before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine, during Wednesday's United Nations General Assembly debate on the situation in question, Slovenia strongly condemned Putin's decision to recognise the non-government controlled Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and deploy troops in the two regions.
Slovenian diplomat Miha Erman presented Slovenia's opinion on behalf of Slovenian Ambassador to UN Boštjan Malovrh, who chaired the General Assembly session. Erman said that Slovenia endorsed the EU's statement on the matter and welcomed the debate.
"These illegal actions undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and independence and constitute a grave violation of international law and international agreements, including the UN Charter and its main principles, and the Budapest Memorandum and the Minsk agreements," Erman said, adding that Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and preserved.
Erman also noted the difficult humanitarian situation and said that Slovenia urged an unrestricted access to humanitarian aid for Ukraine. It is also very concerned about the many victims of landmines on both sides and human rights violations and abuses in Crimea, especially against Tatars, Ukrainians and minorities.