Robert Abela on Friday warned that sanctions against Russia will not resolve the war in Ukraine, saying the only solution is dialogue. 

Speaking during a ONE Radio interview, the prime minister said he would not be getting into the merits as to whether sanctions were necessary or not. 

"The solution remains peace and stability, through dialogue. Have there been efforts to do this? I believe there have, but they have not been enough". 

Abela said he did not want to see EU leaders ending up with their backs against the wall due to the pressure caused by skyrocketing energy prices across Europe. 

Russia has turned the screws on its gas supply to mainland Europe, in what many see as retaliation to EU trade sanctions in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The prime minister said his government had taken the “strategic decision” to freeze energy and fuel prices, rather than placing the burden on people, as has been the case in other European countries.

He acknowledged growing questions about whether the continued subsidies are sustainable.

Abela said the decision had reaped results, by giving businesses in Malta a competitive advantage and offering families peace of mind about their spending power.

The prime minister said the government will continue to adapt its policies in response to other inflationary pressures, mentioning food in particular.

Abela expressed his satisfaction that Malta’s 8.5% economic growth figure has surpassed forecasts.

He said the growth has been “holistic”, with all economic sectors benefitting from it.

The prime minister said the government plans on introducing start-up visas, to attract budding entrepreneurs to set up shop in Malta.

On this week’s visit by Libya’s prime minister, Abela said he and his Libyan counterpart had explored areas of cooperation, particularly in health and energy.

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