of Interior of Ukraine Аcademician Bogomolets St., 10, Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine
On April 4, 2017, the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Ukraine Antonio Gazzanti Pugliese di Cotrone discussed prospects for humanitarian cooperation during a meeting in the MIA.
The Sovereign Order of Malta (Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta) is the oldest lay religious order of the Catholic Church. Today it is a tiny but very influential in the world state-like sovereign subject of international law that owns small territories in Italy and on the island of Malta.
The Sovereign Order of Malta has been providing medical and humanitarian assistance in Ukraine for about a quarter of a century through its Maltijska Slushba Dopomohy (MSD).
"Do you remember the tent of the Order of Malta at the EuroMaidan in the winter of 2013-2014? It was located near the post office with the flag of the Maltese Hospitallers above it; several doctors worked there. Then I met them for the first time in my capacity as one of the commandants of the Maidan. The guys who worked under the flag of the Maltese Hospitallers helped people very much. The main occupation of the Knights of the Maltese Order and their supporters around the world during centuries was the noble cause of helping affected people and implementing the charity projects” - stated Arsen Avakov.
The Sovereign Order of Malta was very active in helping Ukraine during recent years. The Maltese Order field kitchen has worked during the events on the Maidan. Today, MSD is providing and helping to set up the mobile multifunctional field kitchens for the affected population in the East of Ukraine, participating in the establishment of social rehabilitation centers for ATO soldiers and internally displaced persons. Thousands of internally displaced persons, wounded soldiers and civilians have received help and support in the framework of the charitable missions and projects of the Maltese Order. Nine centers of the Sovereign Order of Malta still work in different cities of Ukraine.
Within the framework of the humanitarian and medical cooperation with the Order the Minister proposed the Ambassador to create in one of the MIA hospitals in Kiev a special department to rehabilitate the MIA personnel who suffered during the fighting.
"I have asked - and received - a preliminary promise to support a joint project with the Maltese Order for the medical rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians affected by concussion during the war. This project concerns thousands of our citizens and is very important for us. Treatment and rehabilitation should be provided at the highest modern level. Thousands of our young people at the front line have suffered from the shell shock due to the mines and shells explosions. They can look quite well now, but if such concussions are neglected and not seriously treated, they can lead over time to the huge medical problems and pains. These young guys will eventually lose their working capacity and it is not fair. Our state is obliged to help them and it will systematically solve this problem! We want to engage international experience and assistance to solve this problem that has come to us due to the war. And we in the Ministry of Internal Affairs are launching the implementation of this project and try to involve our international partners. We will be happy to work with anybody who is ready to join and help!“ - said Arsen Avakov.
The Minister of Internal Affairs stressed the need to speed up preparations for the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between Ukraine and the Sovereign Order of Malta, which was agreed during the last year's official visit to Ukraine of the Order of Malta's Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager.
Department of communication of MIA-Ukraine