The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Effects of Ukraine war could lead to rise in irregular migration, PM warns

Friday, 24 June 2022, 18:58 Last update: about 3 months ago

The effects of the war in Ukraine, including a shortage of food and famine in the African continent, could lead to an increase in irregular migration, Prime Minister Robert Abela has warned.

Abela was speaking after an EU Summit in Brussels. During the Summit, EU leaders agreed to grant EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, while giving Georgia the status as soon as it reaches the criteria stipulated by the European Commission.

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During these meetings, European leaders discussed the wider Europe, the latest developments in relation to Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the EU membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.

Prime Minister Abela on Thursday stressed that Malta fully supports the European political aspirations of the West Balkan countries.

On Ukraine, Abela said that Malta remains concerned about the situation and will continue to play its part in the humanitarian cause.

“Collectively, the EU must listen to and address the concerns of its citizens who are being affected on a daily by the effects of the conflict,” Abela said.

He added that “sanctions are an important and effective tool, but we must address their sustainability and impact.”

Abela also mentioned that this conflict is also having an effect on countries such as Africa, as there is a risk of people dying of hunger and political instability.

“All of these factors can lead to an increase in irregular immigration,” Abela said.

On Friday, the European leaders also discussed economic issues, and during this meeting Abela said that Malta stresses coordination in the economic policy of the EU to ensure economic stability which continues to lead to prosperity.

Meanwhile, during the European Council meeting, a discussion on the energy sector was also held, with Malta agreeing that the EU should explore cooperation with other international partners to counter the impact of rising energy prices.

On the theme of the Conference on the Future of Europe, Prime Minister Abela highlighted that following the end of conference with a consultative process with European citizens, Malta will begin working on addressing the proposals put forward.

Abela positively noted that what Malta has always hinted at was the conclusion of the technical services of the European institutions.

The European Council discussed Europe in a broad sense, where discussions took place on the EU’s relations with its partners in Europe, including on how to foster political dialogue and strengthen security, stability and prosperity of the EU.

“This is an opportunity for Malta to further strengthen relations with strategic partners outside the EU, such as the United Kingdom,” Abela said.

During the Euro Summit, Malta supported Croatia’s entry into the Eurozone from the beginning of next year.

 

 

 

 

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