|USS Ross in the Black Sea|
The visit of the American warship USS Ross to Grand Harbour in Malta has revived the conversation about whether Malta should join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO, in light of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The issue has become even more focused of late, with the news that both Finland and Sweden, longtime advocates of neutrality, are seriously considering becoming Members.
Given that, since the United Kingdom removed its Mediterranean Fleet from Malta, after the country's radical Socialist (read that pro-Communist) Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, tried to get away with a clearly excessive annual fee increase, NATO, meaning the US and Italy, have used the extensive port facilities in Naples to keep an eye upon the Eastern Mediterranean.
Besides, whatever recent overtures the United States has made two Malta about the subject were dashed when the country's arrogant Prime Minister, Robert Abela, displayed extremely poor diplomatic form when meeting the American Secretary of Defense not too long ago, when making a ridiculous offer to the US, when full-blown cooperation with NATO and the USA were expected.
Frankly, given that NATO membership brings with it briefings that contain classified information, I don't trust Malta's Pro-Russian business Labour Party to not disclose Top Secret/SCI information to Russian diplomats at the local embassy, or PEPs seeking CBI passports who are close to the government or to Oligarchs seeking favor with Vladimir Putin or his Cabinet. Remember, the most recent PL political to run the IIM programme spent more time at the Russian Embassy than his office. And how many Russian Intelligence agents are posted to Malta, I wonder ?
Also, given that Joseph Muscat personally promoted the most senior officers in the Armed Forces of Malta, (one of whom was openly carrying on an affair with his wife) who is to say they won't be compelled to disclose classified information to him, or to PM Abela, upon demand ? I am extremely uncomfortable with Mintoff's political heirs having the ability to engage in espionage on behalf of Russia, especially if money is involved. I do not trust Labour, plain and simple.
No, NATO's secrets are not safe in Malta; keep the US fleet in Naples, it's safer.