Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskiy (pictured) urged Malta to stop Russians abusing passports that were part of a lucrative citizenship program and to block its ships transporting Russian oil.
Zelenskiy compared Ukraine’s battle with Russia to Malta’s dogged defense against Nazi Germany during World War Two in his latest video address to a Western Parliament.
Zelenskiy stated that the “resilience and resistance of Malta in 1940 and 1942 helped to define the future Europe” and that the resilience and strength of its people would determine whether freedom will prevail in fighting tyranny.
He called on the smallest member of the European Union to take part in the stop all Russian bank transactions. He also urged the government to prevent Russians hiding under dual citizenship or ‘golden passports’ schemes.
He said: “Please don’t let yourself be mistreated. Check which Russians are hiding using your passports.”
A week after the invasion in Ukraine, Malta stopped selling passports to Russian applicants. Prime Minister Robert Abela informed Zelenskiy that the passport of a Russian victim of EU sanctions was revoked.
Zelenskiy stressed the importance of an effective embargo against Russian oil while also acknowledging that this was sensitive for Malta.
Malta is home to the EU’s biggest ship registry. It has been trying to reach a compromise with Brussels over proposals to ban Russian oil from EU-flagged and controlled ships.
Zelenskiy repeated his appeal for Western nations’ to send weapons. He compared Ukraine’s need with that of Malta during World War Two when it was only able fight off German and Italian air attack after receiving British fighter planes from an American aircraft carrier.
He stated: “We need planes, helicopters and other weapons because now, just like 80 years ago, the future of Europe will be decided on the battlefield.”