Malta had doubts on council statement pledging military support to Ukraine

Sources say Malta voiced concern about language used in statement pledging support to Ukraine, while also criticising the European Union’s silence on the situation in the Middle East  

Police officers with a mound of remains of Russian rockets that hit Kharkiv, Ukraine (File photo)
Police officers with a mound of remains of Russian rockets that hit Kharkiv, Ukraine (File photo)

Malta voiced its doubt on a statement pledging support for Ukraine from the European Union, citing its concern about the language used on defence, sources have told MaltaToday.

Sources said Malta’s “doubts” were specifically about pledging military support to Ukraine, specifically missiles. It also criticised EU institutions over the “silence” on the situation in the Middle East.

POLITICO reported the statement was prepared by the office of the European Council president, Charles Michel, who on Friday afternoon sent an email to member countries.

Michel said that “in the absence of a consensus” among EU leaders, the statement was instead going to be sent in the names of Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. That version of the statement was released Friday afternoon.

In their statement, the three presidents promise that the EU “will continue its strong and unwavering political, military, financial, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian support to help Ukraine defend itself, protect its people, its cities and its critical infrastructure, restore its territorial integrity, bring back the thousands of deported children, and bring the war to an end.”

The bloc has also “decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and will help it on its path towards EU membership.”

They also the EU “will continue to address Ukraine’s pressing military and defence needs, including deliveries of urgently needed ammunition and missiles.”

POLITICO also quoted two anonymous diplomats who said the statement was blocked by Hungary.