‘We must address the sustainability of sanctions’, PM tells European leaders

Prime Minister Robert Abela attended several meetings, including a European Council summit, while in Brussels this week

Prime Minister Robert Abela told European leaders that the EU must address the sustainability and impact of sanctions against Russia while attending several EU-level meetings in Brussels this week.

At a European Council meeting, EU leaders agreed to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status on a number of conditions after they applied for membership into the bloc. Leaders also agreed to grant Georgia this status as soon as it meets certain criteria listed by the European Commission.

European leaders also held a meeting with heads of states in the Western Balkans on Thursday. Here, Abela stressed that Malta fully supports the European political aspirations of Western Balkan countries.

On Ukraine, Abela said that the EU must listen to and address the concerns of its citizens who are being affected by the conflict on a daily basis. 

"Sanctions are an important and effective tool but we must address their sustainability and impact," the Prime Minister remarked.

Abela added that the way poses a risk of starvation to people living in the Global South, such as Africa. The possibility of political instability could lead to an increase in irregular immigration, he said.

European leaders went on to discuss the energy sector. Malta agreed that the EU should explore cooperation with other international partners to counter the impact of increases in energy prices.

During a Euro Summit on Friday, Malta expressed support for Croatia’s entry into the euro area from the beginning of next year.