Ukraine, Zelensky asks Malta to take a stand
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Maltese Parliament on Tuesday afternoon and called the Maltese government to freeze the assets of Russians who bought the Maltese citizenship through the sale of passports scheme. He called on Malta to confiscate Russian property and yachts, warning the Maltese government not to let Russian oligarchs hiding them in Malta. “Do not allow your island be abused. Carry out the necessary checks to prevent the Russians from hiding in Malta”, insisted Zelensky. Also called on the Maltese government to intercept all vessels under the Maltese flag from transporting Russian oil. The Ukrainian president likened the war in Ukraine to what happened in Malta 80 years ago. “Your country has stopped the tyranny of the enemy and defined the future of Europe.” He said Ukraine also needs planes, helicopters and weapons to “destroy the ambitions of the current aggressor, accusing Russia of targeting civilians in Ukraine” and to “stop the tyranny that is happening in Ucraine”.
His video address was followed by brief interventions from the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela and Opposition leader Bernard Grech. The Maltese Prime Minister declared that altough the conflict is geographically far from Malta, the Maltese will continue to welcome more refugees and will also provide more medical assistance. He added Malta will continue to encouarge all parties to reach a ceasefire agreement and stated that the withdrawel of the Russian troops from the Ukrainian territory is the key to resolving the conflict, followed by dialogue and effective peace talks. On the issue of golden passports, Abela said his government froze applications for Russian and Belarussian citizens, and had also revoked citizenship for a Russian individual who was eventually impacted by the sanctions.
The leader of the Opposition spoke favourably on the issue of the EU membership and declared that when that happens, Ukraine will return home after a long absence. He added “during that absence you will be supported by friends and allies, and consider us one of your friends and allies.” On behalf of the Nationalist Party, Bernard Grech expressed solidarity and declared that this war is a concern to the whole world and not only to Ukraine. He referred to Roberta Metsolàs visit, as European Parliament president, who was the first politician to visit Ukraine and meet with Zelenskyy to show solidarity on behalf of the European Parliament.