In Kiev, Minister Šarec expresses Slovenia's support and solidarity to Ukraine
Today, at the invitation of the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence Marjan Šarec and a delegation visited Ukraine.
During the talks between the two delegations, the Ukrainian Defence Minister presented the current situation on the battlefields and the very difficult situation following Russia’s recent systematic destruction of Ukraine's critical infrastructure, which has made life very difficult for the Ukrainian people in most parts of the country. According to the Ukrainian authorities, Slovenia's assistance is appreciated and the donated equipment has contributed to the successful defence of the country. The Ukrainian Minister thanked Minister Šarec for the support shown in the light of his visit to Ukraine, as well as for all the support provided so far at political, humanitarian, material and military levels, which places Slovenia high on the list of Ukraine's supporters. Minister Reznikov particularly stressed the importance of this visit and the solidarity shown at a time when, just before winter, Ukraine is facing severe attacks on its energy and other critical infrastructure systems on which the lives of the civilian population depend.
Minister Šarec conveyed to his Ukrainian counterpart, Reznikov, the support of the Republic of Slovenia to Ukraine in its struggle to liberate the country and restore its sovereignty. He particularly stressed the importance of the self-defence struggle of the Ukrainian people, who have been facing a brutal war launched by Russia for as long as nine months. In recent weeks, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has strongly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine, in particular the aggressor's systematic attacks on the civilian population and the destruction of important critical infrastructure. The Slovenian Government has already called on the Russian Federation to immediately put a stop to such actions and has promised to help Ukraine rebuild the destroyed critical infrastructure, Minister Šarec added. He also informed the Ukrainian Defence Minister that the Slovenian Government had decided, in line with the majority opinion and positions of EU Member States, to file an intervention by the Republic of Slovenia, thereby joining the proceedings brought by Ukraine against the Russian Federation for violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
As Minister Šarec pointed out, Slovenia has been assisting Ukraine since the beginning of the war, both with humanitarian aid, demining equipment, provision of care and assistance to Ukrainian refugees who took refuge in Slovenia before the war, as well as with military aid, including the donations of 35 armoured amphibious infantry vehicles and 28 M-55S tanks. He further assured that Slovenia would continue to assist Ukraine in several areas.
Šarec told his Ukrainian counterpart that Slovenia was in the process of joining the new EUMAM Ukraine mission. At its last meeting, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the intention to contribute up to 30 Slovenian servicemembers to the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), with the possibility of rotations. Slovenian Armed Forces members, particularly its specialists in various domains and civilian functional experts, will provide individual, collective or specialised training of members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the territory of EU Member States and in the mission’s command and staff tasks, the Minister further explained.
"The Ukrainian Defence Minister and I also discussed Slovenia's assistance to Ukraine. Our assistance - both military and non-military - is very much appreciated by the Ukrainians. We discussed the options of Slovenia helping with the care of the wounded, including civilians, on our territory. In this respect, the talks are already underway and we will continue to provide our assistance and cooperation. We also touched upon the future, on the post-war period," said Minister Šarec after his meeting with the Ukrainian Minister.
During his visit, Minister Šarec also visited Irpin, where the aftermath of the Russian aggression and attacks on critical infrastructure can be seen. "The fights on the ground were really tough here, the destruction is really heavy. It will be possible to rebuild the material damage, but no one can compensate for the loss of human lives," said Minister Šarec after his visit to Irpin. "This is a war against the civilian population, which we are through the destruction of critical infrastructure still witnessing today. The people of Ukraine are facing a difficult winter." Minister Šarec made clear that Slovenia would continue to actively provide assistance.
After what has been seen, humanitarian and material assistance for the people at risk, as well as military assistance from both the European Union and other allied countries, are particularly important.