The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry (The Malta Chamber) will not be issuing Certificates of Origin for fuel oil originating in Russia or Belarus with immediate effect, it said in a statement on Friday.
As the entity responsible for issuing Certificates of Origin, The Malta Chamber said it is monitoring the issue of sanctions and will communicate relevant developments with its members as they arise.
This week, Russia was hit by unprecedented sanctions from the EU, the UK and the US, intended to cripple Russia’s economy. The sanctions were imposed as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which took place last week.
The Malta Chamber expressed its full support with the Ukrainian people, agreeing to concrete actions to stand up against the violent stance adopted by the Russian Government.
“The present humanitarian situation and the right of every country to protect its sovereignty goes beyond purely commercial interests. The circumstances warrant the imposition of effective sanctions.
“While it is a fact that such sanctions will also hurt third-party business interests as well as Russians who may not necessarily agree with the war being waged against the Ukraine, the invasion of an independent, sovereign country is first degree warfare that calls for firm, consolidated international action.”
The Malta Chamber appealed to Government to ensure that appropriate actions are taken against any holders of a Maltese passport connected to the Russian Government.
“This will ensure and safeguard the national interest at EU level and Malta’s international credibility in terms of our commitment to support the international community in responding decisively and collectively to what is a clear threat the security and stability of Europe.”
The decision to suspend new applications for citizenship from Russian and Belarusian passport holders is hence a step in the right direction, The Malta Chamber added.
“The Russian Government is destroying the lives of millions, from those being killed in the Ukraine to those being rendered poor overnight in Russia due to the direct consequences of war. Mindful of the gravity of the situation, the European Union is taking unprecedented actions, which the Malta Chamber urges the Maltese Government to support in the most unequivocal of ways.
“It is only through decisive collective action that we can hope to dissuade the Russian Government from pursuing a protracted course of action that will bring nothing but devastation and threats of mass destruction on European soil.”
The Malta Chamber commended Government’s pledge to provide oncology treatment to patients who are fleeing the war and appealed to Government to facilitate the entry into Malta of Ukrainian refugees, particularly those who may already have relatives living and working in Malta.
The offer by a number of leading hotels to host refugees while they quarantine is a noble act of solidarity. Businesses operating in other sectors have offered assistance in other forms, and The Malta Chamber is currently assessing how best to channel this assistance, mindful of the fact that many refugees could be arriving in Malta in the coming weeks and will need substantial help.
The President of The Malta Chamber, Marisa Xuereb, met with the resident Ambassador of Poland, H.E. Tomasz Czyszek, to discuss the situation at the Polish border with the Ukraine.
On behalf of the Maltese business community, Ms Xuereb strongly condemned the brutal attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine and expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are bravely defending their country in the face of the most menacing threat to European stability since the end of the Cold War.
She also expressed appreciation for Poland’s efforts in welcoming many thousands of refugees, mostly women with children and elderly, through several reception centres that Poland has set up along its border with the Ukraine. In the spirit of solidarity, she extended the business community’s wish to actively help these refugees.
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