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Prime Minister in Bucha: Today we are all Ukrainians and united as never before

Prime Minister Robert Golob on a bilateral visit to Ukraine at the personal invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Prime Minister Robert Golob and his delegation arrive in Kiev. A train is seen in the background.

Arrival of Prime Minister Robert Golob and his delegation in Kiev | Author Nebojša Tejić/STA

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The Slovenian Prime Minister and his delegation met with the Ukrainian leadership and attended a ceremony in Bucha commemorating the civilian victims of the war. Prime Minister Golob will also take part in the summit on Russia's accountability for war crimes in Ukraine. 
"We want to show our political support in the light of Slovenia's all-round assistance to Ukraine in the difficult times of Russian military aggression. We also want to reaffirm our commitment to the policy of territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and contribute to post-war reconstruction," said Prime Minister Golob on his arrival in the Ukrainian capital. 
Slovenia is interested in participating in Ukraine's recovery. In his talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Prime Minister underlined that Slovenia is ready to engage in the reconstruction of the Kharkiv region, in particular the city of Izyum. The city of Kharkiv is twinned with Maribor, and the Slovenian consulate there was destroyed by a Russian missile in the first days of the aggression. Prime Minister Golob and President Zelensky also discussed Ukraine's efforts to join the European Union and NATO. "Slovenia welcomes the decision of the European Council to grant candidate status to Ukraine. This is an important signal to the Ukrainian people that Russian aggression will not destroy their hope for a free and democratic world." 
In Kyiv, the Slovenian Prime Minister also met with his host, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. He expressed his full political support to the Ukrainian leadership and his solidarity with the Ukrainian people. He also stressed the interest of the Slovenian side to start actively thinking about how to build on the cooperation established during the Russian aggression in the post-war period. Slovenian companies are not unfamiliar with the Ukrainian market, and it would be a good idea to lay a solid foundation for future economic relations now. The Prime Minister and his host also touched on foreign policy issues, including Slovenia’s candidacy for the UN Security Council. In this context, he thanked the Ukrainian side for its support for Slovenia's efforts to become a non-permanent member at the upcoming elections in New York.  
On the first anniversary of the liberation of Bucha and the withdrawal of Russian forces from this Ukrainian town, a ceremony was held to commemorate the civilian victims of the war. In the early days of the war, Bucha saw fierce fighting and Russian forces committed serious war crimes there, which made this town a symbol of perseverance, strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people in their fight against the aggressor. At the commemorative ceremony in Bucha, the Ukrainian national flag was flying high as President Zelensky made an emotional speech at the memorial to the fighters of the Bucha territorial community. He also awarded state decorations to those who helped liberate Bucha, to some posthumously. In addition to the Slovenian Primer Minister, the commemorative ceremony was attended by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Moldovan President Maia Sandu.
Prime Minister Golob, speaking partly in Ukrainian, said: "It is not easy to be here. It is one thing to hear about what has happened in this place. But it is something entirely different to actually be here and to feel it. Such experience makes you think about many things." He went on to add that innocent people had been brutalised by Russian forces and that war must not be an excuse for lawlessness and impunity. "Today we are all Ukrainians and united as never before. Slava Ukraini!" he concluded.