Though Malta still has an operational channel of communication with the Russian Federation, it isn’t as active when compared to previous times in light of the recent Ukraine invasion.
With thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed so far – some estimates say as many as 25,000 so far – Lovin Malta spoke to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to get a better sense of Malta’s current relationship with a country that recently warned of the very “real” danger of World War 3 breaking out.
“Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Malta and the Russian Federation are longstanding,” a Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
“Malta keeps contact with all countries it has diplomatic ties with and meetings are held from time to time. Therefore bilateral relations are still in place, although less active.”
Malta’s Foreign Affairs Ministry made it clear that though the channels remain open, the island was very much following the European Union’s position on Russia.
“Malta is fully aligned to the EU position and condemns Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine.”
“It also echoes the calls for an unconditional ceasefire and negotiations for a sustainable peace agreement to bring an end to the fighting and violence. For this to happen channels of dialogue must continue to remain open,” they emphasised.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said the European Union is doing all it can to help Ukraine, saying the worst thing the international community could do was “turn our backs or turn away”.
Reiterating the same rhetoric that the EU has been pushing since the start of the war, Metsola said that Europe must do everything possible to isolate Putin and his allies.
“Our message to Russia has to be that we are not afraid of your threats. We are going to counter your propaganda and narrative,” she warned.
Cover image right: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov from MID.ru via Wikimedia
Do you think Malta should cut off dialogue with Russia, or increase it following the Ukraine invasion?