While there have been a number of press reports on the recent meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Russia and the Republic of Malta, the specific terms of their agreement, which was reportedly negotiated in a secure setting, remain totally unknown. Given Malta's geopolitical location, and Russia's expansionist history in the Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and increasing threats to the Baltic and Eastern European countries, it is important to consider precisely what issues may have been the subject of a classified understanding. Russia may be seeking to create a sphere of influence in the Central Mediterranean, by pairing Libya with Malta, and making both client states.
We do know that Malta will release the Russian-printed Dinars to the government led by General Haftar. It remains a mystery why Malta, at this late date, will release the currency shipment, when it was initially confiscated on the strength of EU and UN sanctions.
Obviously, there is some sort of secret deal that involves Libya. What, we ask, has Russia promised to the corrupt Maltese politicians, as Malta has historically supported the opposing Government of National Accord; they are Haftar's enemies and opponents. What is Malta getting out of this ?
A number of possibilities come to mind:
(1) Will Russia allow Malta to steal more of Libya's vulnerable oil supply, and transship it abroad via Hurd's Bank ?
(2) Will Russia assist Malta in expanding its transshipment of mercenaries and weapons to Haftar ?
(3) Are the Labour Party officials targeted for money laundering offences by foreign governments asking for a safe jurisdiction, where they are free from any extradition laws ?
(4) Are the Russians receiving the right to anchor or bunker their warships in Maltese harbours ?
(5) Will Russian influence now increase inside Malta ?
What form any push back from the European Union, the UK or the US, to counter Russian influence, will take, is not known, but it should be anticipated.