[WATCH] Abela promises limitless financial support to cushion impact of Ukraine war on prices

Robert Abela says government will provide financial assistance to cushion impact of Ukraine war on energy and food prices • Malta has taken in 26 Ukrainian refugees

Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Government will continue to provide financial support “whatever the cost” to ensure energy and fuel prices remain stable despite the Ukraine war, Robert Abela said.

The Prime Minister added that targeted help is being given to the animal husbandry sector that has been hit by higher costs in animal feed spurred by the war.

“We will continue giving all the support necessary to keep energy and fuel prices stable… we will protect the people [from inflation] and at this juncture of strong economic recovery we will continue to provide support to ensure growth,” Abela said.

Asked whether the figure of €200 million set aside by the Finance Minister in the last budget to cushion energy price rises would be revised upwards, Abela said support will continue being given “whatever the cost” and until it is necessary.

Asked whether the Labour Party will be re-evaluating its electoral proposals in view of the changed international circumstances because of the Ukraine war, Abela insisted the pledges are “costed and sustainable”.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the raft of sanctions imposed on Russia have forced international energy and fuel prices to shoot up. The war also threatens the global supply of grains and wheat since Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers.

EU leaders on Thursday and Friday are expected to agree to reduce the bloc's dependence on Russian gas and oil. The move will impact Russia's main economic lifeline but it will also hit European consumers hard.

The US and the UK have announced a ban of their own on Russian oil imports in a bid to tighten the economic noose around Vladimir Putin's regime.

READ ALSO: Liquigas says it has secured gas supplies to 'meet demand for foreseeable future'

Ukrainian refugees

On Malta’s humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Abela said that 26 Ukrainians had arrived in here and applied for refugee status.

“This morning we started talks with Puttinu Cares to assist children requiring cancer treatment. We will be treating Ukrainian child cancer patients and Malta has also sent medical supplies,” Abela said, adding that within its limitations, Malta will continue showing solidarity with Ukrainians.

The Prime Minister was taking questions after presiding over an announcement in Ħal Far of a new investment by Indian pharmaceuticals firm Torrent Pharma.

During his speech, Abela said Malta will be assisting “our Ukrainian brothers and sisters” as he emphasised the need for peace and stability in Europe.