Malta Supports Ukraine as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: February 8, 2024; 21:57 ♦ (Vindobona)

On his first visit abroad as Chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Malta's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Ian Borg, met with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. This meeting marks a crucial moment in the efforts to achieve peace and security in the war-torn region.

The OSCE Chair-in-Office, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta Ian Borg (l.), meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (r.) in Kyiv. / Picture: © OSCE/Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, ID 562335, (CC BY-ND 4.0)

President Zelensky took the opportunity to thank Malta for hosting the third meeting of national security and foreign policy advisers on the Ukrainian Peace Formula last October, which was attended by representatives from 66 countries, but excluding Russia and China. These talks took the dialog to a "new, higher level" and demonstrated international support for Ukraine.

During his visit, Minister Borg emphasized Malta's "unequivocal and unwavering commitment" to supporting Ukraine and ending Russia's unlawful war. He emphasized the priority of Ukraine's security concerns during Malta's OSCE Chairmanship and pledged to support efforts to return unlawfully deported Ukrainian children to their homes.

In addition, the important role of the OSCE in addressing the many challenges facing Ukraine was emphasized. Malta advocates the use of OSCE instruments such as the Moscow Mechanism to identify violations of the OSCE's core principles and promotes accountability of perpetrators. During his stay in Ukraine, Minister Borg also visited the war-torn Ukrainian villages of Borodyanka, Butsha and Hostomel and met with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to further discuss Ukraine's priorities within the OSCE.

Support to Ukraine is reinforced through the OSCE's extra-budgetary Support Program for Ukraine (SPU), which aims to address the immediate challenges posed to the civilian population by the war and to support the long-term democratic and social resilience of the country's institutions and civil society. Ambassador Marcel Peško, the Special Representative of the CiO - Project Coordinator in Ukraine, accompanied Chair-in-Office Borg on his visit. Additionally, Minister Borg met with SPU employees to thank them for their commitment to the organization and their hard work.

The unjust and illegal incarceration of the three OSCE Special Monitoring Mission staff members is one problem that deeply troubles our collective conscience. We are praying for them and their families during this difficult time. Minister Borg emphasized, "We are concerned about their health and safety and we join the Secretary General in her call on Russia for their immediate release." Minister Borg emphasized that in order to support their immediate release and show our unwavering solidarity with them and their families, our organization must continue to show togetherness.

Minister Borg's visit underscores Malta's commitment to keep the Ukrainian cause as a priority on the international agenda and to reaffirm the OSCE's basic principles and commitments as a guide to restoring peace and security in the region.


President of Ukraine