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Today's visit to Kyiv sends a clear message of support to Ukraine and its brave people

Today, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon participated in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv, in the presence of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also took part in the meeting.

"The meeting sends a clear message of support for Ukraine and its courageous people," said Minister Fajon at the start of the first meeting of ministers of the EU27 taking place outside the EU and the first one held in a war zone.

"Yesterday, Slovenia was officially granted observer status at the UN Security Council. I wish to emphasise our unequivocal commitment to fostering a lasting and equitable peace in Ukraine, as well as the restoration of its territorial integrity. Moreover, we are steadfast in our determination to hold to justice the Russian regime and all those responsible for instigating this war," said Minister Fajon.

During the meeting, the ministers engaged in discussions concerning Ukraine's potential path to EU membership, following the granting of candidate status last June. Minister Fajon reaffirmed Slovenia's commitment to Ukraine's EU accession. However, she emphasised that the negotiation process must go hand in hand with the reform process, with a particular focus on areas related to the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

"We wholeheartedly endorse EU enlargement, not only with regard to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, but also in the case of the Western Balkans. Such expansion will contribute significantly to promoting peace and stability across our continent," Minister Fajon stated.

Furthermore, the ministers underscored the urgency of promptly delivering the next instalment of military assistance from the European Peace Facility (EPF) to Ukraine. Minister Fajon pointed out the importance of ensuring that all measures and support provided to Ukraine must be sustainable for the Slovenian economy and people.

Minister Fajon went on to highlight the safe operation of nuclear power plants during wartime, drawing parallels to Slovenia's own experience during its war for independence and empathising with Ukraine's current situation.

In the part of the meeting between the EU foreign ministers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Minister Fajon expressed her gratitude to Ukraine for solidarity and assistance extended following the recent devastating floods in Slovenia. "I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to you and the Ukrainian people for the support you provided in the aftermath of the floods in Slovenia. While we still have a long way to go to rebuild the affected areas, your assistance has been a powerful source of motivation for us."

In his discussion with the ministers, President Zelenskyy emphasised that Ukraine's peace formula envisages establishing the groundwork for restoring a just peace while implementing mechanisms to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes. Minister Fajon affirmed Slovenia's commitment to participating in the peace formula, and expressed a willingness to engage in specific working groups. "It is vital to the implementation of the peace formula that it is widely supported by the international community, especially by countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia."

In the afternoon, Minister Fajon will visit the ITF Enhancing Human Security office, which reopened in Kyiv in September this year. The ITF, operating on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, has been actively involved in implementing projects focused on physical rehabilitation and psychosocial assistance for victims of explosive remnants of war (since 2015). The ITF's Kyiv office, supported by the Ministry, coordinates its activities with the relevant Ukrainian institution, i.e. the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU).