People of Ukraine,
The international community is today commemorating an Anniversary of events that have shaken us all to the core.
Twelve months have passed since the unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The scenes we have witnessed over this past year should have us all recoil in shame and reflect on human frailty in the face of the brutality of war.
As has been underscored on numerous occasions over the past year, Malta continues to stand by Ukraine.
Let me once again be clear in stating that Malta’s neutrality does not imply indifference to attacks on our shared principles, the deplorable loss of life and the suffering brought about upon innocent civilian people.
We will continue assisting the People of Ukraine across the board within the limits, and to the best of our capabilities.
We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and give special medical treatment in our health facilities.
In light of the senseless unrelenting violence, our collective message has to be a clear, unanimous and resounding one.
We definitely cannot accept that the cardinal principles of respect for sovereignty and self-determination be swept aside by aggression and military might.
Our message remains unchanged – the fundamental principles which lie at the heart of a civilised international order are there to be respected by all.
We rightfully expect all countries, big or small, to honour this basic tenet of global diplomacy.
In this regard, the invasion of Ukraine constitutes a direct threat to the multilateral system, with the United Nations at its centre.
We have to remain united, and not leave any room or pretext for the convenient dilution of the norms and standards that have clearly guided the international community for decades.
This is a heartfelt appeal that needs to reach all our international partners and global actors who could have a say in contributing to an end of this indiscriminate violence, and work towards a possible path to peace once the opportunity arises.
I specifically want to take this opportunity to salute the people of Ukraine for their inspiring bravery and courage.
The bravery of those who stayed behind to defend what is rightly theirs.
And the courage of those, especially women, who left their homeland and travelled thousands of kilometres to save the lives of their loved ones.
Our admiration towards all of you is boundless as you continue to be a symbol of hope and the protection of our shared values as determined by the UN Charter.
I conclude by conveying, on behalf of the People of Malta, my strong solidarity and support to you, President Zelenskyy and to the brave People of Ukraine.