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Unanimous support for the Government's positions at the National Assembly's Committee on Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Robert Golob today attended a joint meeting of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Policy and EU Affairs to present his views for the upcoming meeting of the European Council.

In his statement to the press following the Committee meeting, Prime Minister Golob said that the Committee had held the first joint discussion between the Government and the National Assembly on foreign policy orientations. The meeting focused not only on Ukraine, but also on the Government's participation in the upcoming meeting of the European Council and on granting Ukraine candidate status for EU membership. "I would like to emphasise in particular that the Parliament clearly needed such an approach, as today all the decisions were approved unanimously. I can only wish that this would become a rule for other foreign policy issues as well,” Prime Minister Golob stressed, adding that he would strive to ensure that the Government always verified views in the National Assembly that are important for the country's foreign policy positions, as well as for its reputation.

According to the Prime Minister, the European Commission has reversed the course of events for the first time in history, meaning that it has not taken a technocratic approach, but has decided politically that both Ukraine and Moldova should begin the process for EU membership, while technocratic compliance will take place at a later stage. Thus, the EU has sent a united message to the world that it believes that the two countries, including Georgia (which has its own status), can count on being part of the EU one day, and that they are already part of Europe today.

The Prime Minister stressed that it became clear that the EU should take a step forward and give a clear message to the Western Balkans that there was a chance for progress and advancement too. "We believe that it is Bosnia and Herzegovina that deserves a political message, but not because of progress as such." Like Ukraine, which is certainly not responsible for being in a state of war today, Bosnia and Herzegovina too is not responsible for being in such a situation today, which has been in a way imposed on it by the outside world,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Bosnia and Herzegovina deserved a clear message that we understand their internal challenges, but we want the country to become a candidate for EU membership as soon as possible.

"We have already discussed this, officially and unofficially, with some representatives, with my colleagues. So far, the first responses have been favourable, but not necessarily unanimous. It is important, however, that this topic certainly be on the agenda of the European Council. We would like to a thorough debate on the Western Balkans to take place in parallel with the debate on Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and we also want to find a story of progress in the Western Balkans as well, rather than just a story of obstruction," the Prime Minister concluded.

Regarding the current fuel shortage situation, Prime Minister Golob said that the current lack of fuel meant that fuel retailers had reacted to the situation inappropriately, even though the Government had deliberately given them a week to prepare.

He added that a very clear procedure had been initiated in dialogue with retailers to find out why fuel shortages had occurred. "We have also requested evidence to confirm that what happened could not have been prevented," he said.

Regarding the adoption of mitigation measures in response to price hike, he explained that such measures would be adopted at Thursday's Government session and would enter into force on 1 July. One of these is a very important measure concerning road hauliers. "We do not want hauliers to go off the motorways, where they normally fill up, and start looking for service stations off the motorways. That would once again pose additional congestion and logistical problems. Therefore, we will level the playing field and find a way for them to be able to refuel where it is most convenient, so that they do not suffer material damage. The second mitigation measure concerns farmers. Their status will remain the same even after the change to this regime, which means that we will increase grants so that they can purchase fuel at lower prices," Prime Minister Golob said.