WATCH: “Malta-Russia Relations & the Libyan Civil War”, Mark Harwood | TEPSA Explainers

“In 2021 with the creation of the National Government of Unity and the fact that both Malta and Russia now are backing the same government, the relationship thawed, and in fact Malta allowed the seized Dinar to be sent, to be unconfiscated. However there does not seem to be much incentive to prioritise Malta-Russia relations going forward, irrespective of the situation in the Ukraine. Ultimately, Malta is prioritising the fact that it has been grey-listed by the FATF, and for this reason Malta does not want to be seen as a country that harbours irregular financial practices. But also it’s “golden passport” scheme has led to an infringement case with the European Commission, and in particular due to the fact that a sizeable number of Russians have applied for this scheme. In fact, after the invasion of Ukraine, Malta suspended the scheme for Russians and Belarusians. So in this way, relations with Russia are not likely to improve, irrespective of the situation in Ukraine, but due to other, wider issues, even though the situation vis-à-vis Libya sees both countries on the same page.”

In this video Mark Harwood, the Director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of Malta, analyses Malta-Russia relations in the context of both countries’ historic ties to Libya. He explains the history of Malta’s external relations policy from gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 right up to the Libyan Civil War, and analyses how the outcomes of the Civil War have affected Malta-Russia relations. At the end of the video, he explains what all this means in the context of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

TEPSA Explainers are short videos elaborating on key issues in European affairs according to the expertise of the contributor.