Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici had an official meeting with Ukraine's Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy Rostyslav Karandieiev, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The meeting focused on solidarity and support, highlighting Malta's commitment to standing with Ukraine in the face of ongoing military aggression.
Minister Bonnici expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and emphasised Malta's unwavering dedication to aiding Ukraine during these challenging times. Minister Bonnici underscored Malta's contributions, ranging from humanitarian aid to medical services for Ukrainian soldiers, and affirmed the strong sentiment of solidarity by the Maltese people towards the Ukrainian people.
He explained that this solidarity can also be expressed through art and culture and the two Ministers discussed methods how action can be taken to safeguard cultural heritage in Ukraine, not only in terms of protection of Ukrainian cultural assets, but also by being sensitive to the realities which Ukrainian artists and creatives are facing.
Minister Bonnici reassured Ukraine of Malta's continued support through the European Peace Facility. The discussion also touched upon the adverse global impacts of Russia's aggression, particularly in the context of food security.
Highlighting recent successes, Minister Bonnici pointed to the 3rd National Security Advisers meeting held in Malta, where 66 delegations participated. The meeting reaffirmed support for President Volodymyr Zelensky's Peace Plan and witnessed the creation of an international coalition to facilitate the return of Ukrainian children. The joint Chairs statement, adopted by Malta and Ukraine, emphasised the commitment to peace based on the principles of the UN Charter, respect for Ukraine's sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Minister Bonnici concluded by expressing Malta's firm conviction that Ukraine belongs in the European family and that Ukrainian culture is European culture. Drawing on Malta's own experience, he emphasised the transformative power of the EU accession process and commended Ukraine's progress. Malta stands ready to continue supporting Ukraine on its journey toward a future EU enlargement.
During the visit in Kyiv, Minister Bonnici also had a meeting with the Mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klychko, and other Ukrainian Government officials.