16:34 GMT +318 June 2019
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    Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt holds a press conference following a meeting with his Slovenian counterpart on February 21, 2019, in Ljubljana

    UK Foreign Secretary Hunt Slammed For Calling Slovenia 'Soviet Vassal State'

    © AFP 2019/ Jure Makovec
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    During Soviet times, Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia, which in turn exercised a policy independent from Moscow and was not a part of the Soviet bloc. Yugoslavia was also one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, advocating an approach of avoiding participation in any power blocs.

    UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for his speech during a visit to Ljubljana, when he called Slovenia a "Soviet vassal state".

    "A really remarkable transformation from a Soviet vassal state to a modern European democracy, a member of the EU, a member of NATO, a country with a flourishing economy", he said.

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    Although Hunt was trying to pay a compliment to the country's economy, his lack of knowledge about its history outraged former Speaker of Slovenia's National Assembly Milan Brglez, who slammed the UK foreign secretary for "arrogantly lecturing" the country, noting that the state had "never been ‘the vassal state of the Soviet Union'". Brglez also criticised Slovenian politicians, who had failed to correct Hunt on the spot and instead just let the "insult" go.

    During the Cold War, Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia, which was not a part of Soviet Union. The state was at the forefront of the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, which members refused to align with any of the global powers.

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    gaffe, Jeremy Hunt, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, Slovenia
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