Malta, Minister Camilleri forced to explain help to Ukraine
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs Home affairs minister, Byron Camilleri, was forced in Parliament to defend the government’s decision to sign up for an EU ammunition procurement initiative that will also serve to replenish Ukrainian stockpiles, highlighting that the arrangement both safeguarded Maltàs neutrality and was clearly beneficial to its interests. The European Defence Agency’s “Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition” project, made it clear that helping Ukraine militarily was one of the project’s main immediate objectives. However, the signing of the agreement by the Maltese government was under scrutiny in Parliament by a government MP.
Minister Camilleri admitted that the decision was bound to cause controversy whilst arguing that any concerns were misplaced. The Minister explained “everyone knows that the price of military equipment has exploded because of the war: including the ammunition that the Armed Forces of Malta use in their training exercises” while adding “finding material to purchase has become challenging”. Minister Camilleri declared that it is with this in mind that Malta joined the EDA initiative so that all countries involved acquire their ammunition jointly with the advantages of guaranteeing lower prices and security of supply. Camilleri suggested that the EDA’s initial statement helped contribute to the controversy, since it declared that all signatories would be helping Ukraine. The EDA’s website now makes clear that “in full respect of sovereign national decisions, the project may be used to replenish member states’ national stockpiles and/or aid Ukraine”. Camilleri emphasised that Malta has made clear that it would be limiting itself to send humanitarian as it has already done.
-photo credit agenziafotogramma.it-