Presidents Pahor and Poroshenko discussed the opening of a window of opportunity for a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian crisis
Kijev, 11. 5. 2018 | press release
At the invitation of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on his first state visit to Ukraine today. The visit of the Slovenian President to Ukraine signifies an opportunity to enhance political and economic ties and cooperation in other areas of common interest.
After an official reception with military honours, the presidents first had a private meeting, followed by plenary talks between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and Ukraine led by both presidents.
The presidents discussed Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the reform process carried out by Ukraine in order to comply with the standards of the European Union and the NATO alliance. President Pahor expressed Slovenia’s support for Ukraine in its reform efforts and for strengthening cooperation with Ukraine within the Eastern Partnership of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Presidents agreed that Ukraine’s progress with regard to the EU will also give new impetus to cooperation between Slovenia and Ukraine.
In their discussion, the partners in dialogue assessed the situation in the broader region and summarised the prospects for progress in the efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine within the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine. President Poroshenko presented the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk, which are of concern, especially from a humanitarian perspective, and he highlighted the need to implement the Minsk agreement as the only path to achieving permanent peace. The Ukranian president stressed that, in this context, it was important for the EU to be unified in its support for Ukraine and its European future, and he also briefed President Pahor on his talks yesterday with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron, as the presidents met in Aachen.
President Pahor reiterated Slovenia’s view that the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation was a violation of international law; in the future, Slovenia will continue to support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Furthermore, the Slovenian President stated that he wished for a peaceful resolution to this problem, and the first step could be the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to eastern Ukraine. President Poroshenko thanked Slovenia for its humanitarian aid to Ukraine, in particular for carrying out programmes for the medical rehabilitation of children – eighty children are supposed to come to Slovenia in the near future with the help of the ITF and in cooperation with the Debeli Rtič Youth Health and Summer Resort of the Red Cross Slovenia, the Embassy of Slovenia in Kiev, and local partners in Ukraine.
The presidents paid special attention to bilateral relations and enhancing political and economic ties. President Poroshenko expressed his gratitude for President Pahor’s contribution to strengthening bilateral economic cooperation between. He made reference to a statement which he and President Pahor had signed during his state visit to Ljubljana in 2016, and he expressed satisfaction, because it did not stop with the signing – the agreements made in it have been fulfilled one after another. In particular, he mentioned the establishment of a regular air connection between the two capitals, which has proved to be very popular. He said that the interest of Slovenian companies in the Ukrainian market was increasing, which pleased him. Cultural, scientific, and humanitarian cooperation is also taking place between Ukraine and Slovenia, and the purpose of today’s meeting was according to President Poroshenko to additionally accelerate cooperation in these fields. The presidents agreed that Slovenia and Ukraine were good friends that can count on one another and always fulfil mutual agreements.
President Pahor agreed that it was rare for agreements to be fulfilled this quickly, and he added that it was his pleasure to be able to use this occasion to also announce the upcoming opening of a memorial to Slovenian victims who died during World War I in Ukraine. At the end of May, the defence ministers of both countries will unveil a memorial in Lviv commemorating the 100th
anniversary of World War I, which will serve as remembrance of the many Slovenians who fell on the Galician Front. It is estimated that more than 15,000 Slovenians were killed there.
The President’s official delegation also includes State Secretary Iztok Mirošič, who, in the presence of both presidents, signed a Memorandum on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Mapping and Surveying, Cartography, Land Register, and Land Management between the Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ukrainian National Office for Surveying and Mapping, Cartography, and Land Register, and the Director of the ITF Institution for Enhancing Human Security, Tomaž Lovrenčič. President Poroshenko expressed his gratitude for the help provided thus far, and President Pahor expressed Slovenia's interest in further cooperation in the field of humanitarian demining and destruction of dangerous explosive remains of conflicts. The delegations exchanged views on opportunities for cooperating on the UN Human Rights Council, which is presided over by Slovenia this year.
On the occasion of today's state visit, President Pahor gave the Ukrainian President the Ukranian-Slovenian/Slovenian-Ukrainian dictionary as a gift, which was recently published by the ZRC publishing house, and is the work of Vladimir Dumka in cooperation with Natalija Glažar Berčič, Liudmyla Danylendko, and Silvo Torkar. Both nations are also connected by their efforts to achieve independence and introduce the right to the equal use of one’s mother tongue in public. Although our countries are widely separated, each located at the far ends of Slavic settlement, Ukraine and Slovenia also share common linguistic roots. As President Pahor gave the dictionary as a gift, he stated that he was convinced that this dictionary would open yet another path for continuing and deepening the good relations between our countries.
President Pahor began his state visit to Ukraine in the morning by laying a wreath at the Memorial to an Unknown Soldier. In order to honour the memory of the victims of the crime against Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933, the President laid a basket of flowers at the Holodomor Genocide Memorial and toured the museum. He concluded the solemn portion of his visit by lighting a candle at the Memorial of the Revolution of Dignity.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek