Dear Mr. Speaker!
Dear Mr. Prime Minister!
Dear opposition leader!
I am grateful for this opportunity to address all of you today.
These days you are recalling the 80th anniversary of the extraordinary events that have affected not only the lives of your people, but the whole of Europe.
The Battle of Malta during World War II was one of the crucial to defending freedom.
The outcome of the confrontation in the Mediterranean, northern Africa and southern Europe largely depended on the resistance of your people, your island.
Malta withstood the brutal siege, the brutal bombing. Together with its allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, it was able not only to defend itself, but also to become an outpost of freedom, that is, to play a significant role in the further liberation of Europe.
Today’s events in our part of the continent remind me of your heroic history.
Just as the fate of Europe in 1940-1942 depended on the resilience and courage of Malta, today it is on the resilience and courage of Ukrainians, namely Ukrainians, our people, and certainly not the deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, but ordinary resilient people that the victory of freedom on our continent depends. Because we are once again opposed to tyranny, and it has very far-reaching ambitions. By attacking Ukraine, Russia has only just begun its aggression against a united Europe.
And you can feel better than other nations what evil Russia brings to the continent.
They have already done this against your island.
Just think of this terrible figure: 2154 Russian missiles hit our cities and communities in a little over two months.
2770 appearances of enemy planes in our sky were recorded.
The Russian bombing of Ukraine does not cease any day or night.
Just yesterday, when President of the European Council Charles Michel visited our warm city of Odesa and met with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, he was forced to go down to the bomb shelter.
Because Russia launched another missile attack and hit, in particular, Odesa. On May 9. This is probably the first time that the High Representative of the European Union has continued the dialogue with his counterpart, escaping from the missile threat in the bomb shelter.
In two days, on May 8 and 9, when Europeans honored the memory of the victims of World War II and celebrated Europe Day, the Russian army launched 25 missiles targeting Odesa and the Odesa region alone. All 25 missiles were aimed at civilian objects.
Russian planes are constantly dropping air bombs and phosphorous bombs on buildings where the occupiers know for sure that there are no military there. That there are just people hiding. Ordinary peaceful Ukrainians, ordinary people like you. It’s just terror.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian army has been trying to block our cities. The occupiers organized a real hell on our land in the city of Mariupol.
They blocked it from both land and sea. Constantly bombed. More than 90 percent of all buildings were destroyed there. Before the war, by the way, it was a city of half a million. It was artificially starved. The Russian army has blocked the delivery of any food, drinking water or medicine.
Did Russia know what was happening in Mariupol? Yes, they knew. But the Russian army was ordered to destroy this city. And kill as many of our people as possible.
Its defenders still remain in Mariupol. They continue their resistance on the territory of the Azovstal plant. We use all possible diplomatic tools to organize rescue for them.
But Russia has not yet agreed to any of the many options offered.
We asked our partners for the necessary weapons to unblock Mariupol and save all people – both military and civilians. But we still do not have the necessary weapons and the amount needed to unblock Mariupol. What does it mean? You can fully understand this by simply remembering the importance of the British Spitfires in the spring Maltese sky of 1942.
Thank God, Britain and the United States have accomplished this mission – with the Spitfires, which changed the course of the battle for Malta and helped destroy the ambition of the then aggressor to capture your island.
And now we need a similar mission from our partners. To destroy the ambition of the current aggressor to capture Ukraine and other European countries.
We need aircraft, helicopters, special artillery and other weapons, because now, as 80 years ago, Europe’s future is decided on the battlefield.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 226 children died. Thousands more adults were killed! And these are only those whose deaths have been officially recorded.
About 12 million Ukrainians have become IDPs. About 5 million of them left our country.
I’m sure you fully understand why this war needs to end as soon as possible. Why Russia must be forced to liberate the occupied Ukrainian territory as soon as possible.
There are only three tools to ensure this.
The first – I have already mentioned it – is weapons that allow us to withstand on the battlefield and save our people who are being killed by the Russian military. Killed every day and night.
The longer the delay with weapons, the more deaths.
The second is sanctions on Russia. They are needed not as an end in themselves, but to bring peace closer.
What is most painful for Russia? Losing revenues from energy exports, from trade in energy. And also a complete blockade of banking operations.
This is exactly what needs to be done. The aggressor must receive the greatest damage from aggression.
Having launched a full-scale war against our state, Russia has blocked our ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. And this is a complete blockade of our agricultural exports. And this, in turn, is the path to a large-scale crisis in the global food market. If we fail to export wheat, barley, corn and vegetable oil, there will be a physical shortage of food in North Africa and parts of Asia, and prices will rise significantly.
What’s next? The threat of political chaos and a new migration crisis.
Unfortunately, you can also feel the extremely negative consequences of these crises in your neighboring regions.
So we need to act now, we need to act fast.
An embargo on Russian oil, oil blends and petroleum products is a necessary condition for ending the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I know that this is a very sensitive topic for you, as well as for some other European countries. Given that vessels under your flag are used to transport, in particular, Russian oil. But every dollar and every euro you can earn on this will be offset by very significant and painful losses if the food crisis – and therefore the migration crisis – cannot be stopped – and if the Russian invasion goes further into Europe.
And the third aspect.
After thousands of war crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine… After thousands of murders, thousands of tortures, rapes, robberies… It is now dangerous to accept people with Russian passports, especially those formally or informally connected with the Russian state. Dangerous for all Europeans and also for Maltese.
It is time to end the current privileges for Russian citizens. From gold passports with privileges to dual citizenship.
Please do not allow yourself to be used, do not allow to use your island!
Find out which Russians are trying to hide using your jurisdiction and your land.
Block real estate, yachts and accounts owned by Russians, the activities of Russian IT and blockchain companies, Russian propaganda channels.
This has long been more than just business in Russia, but the structures associated with the aggressive Russian state.
Just as the free world united and fought against tyranny 80 years ago – in a way every nation could – we must all fight now, together.
For freedom to endure, everyone must contribute.
I am grateful to you for the decisions that Malta has already supported. I am also grateful for the decisions you will support in the future to protect Europe.
And I believe that soon we will be able to develop our cooperation in a united Europe on a new level. When Ukraine will receive first the status of a candidate, and then full membership in the European Union.
I count on your support!
Thank you, Malta!
Glory to Ukraine!