On April 18, citing the London-based office of the US internet portal BuzzFeed News, a number of Maltese media outlets published reports, the content of which boils down to what is said in the title of an article published by a local newspaper, Times of Malta: “Russia tried to acquire tear gas, riot gear from Malta.” Officials suspected that the plan was to send them to Venezuela on a military ship.
Maltese journalists blindly reproduced the insinuations of their American colleagues. Statements by the usual anonymous Maltese government figure, the content of the allegedly intercepted diplomatic correspondence between the Russian diplomatic mission and representatives of Malta, as well as a random set of data about the Russian Embassy in Valletta were cited as sources.
We would like to emphasise that the Russian diplomatic mission in Valletta operates in strict accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Russian diplomats do not take part in any covert special operations. The Maltese authorities provided no official comments to the Russian Embassy in Malta.
We believe that the misinformation spread by the Maltese media is an example of a lack of professionalism and an echo of the anti-Russian hysteria, the fanning of which is not in the interests of Russian-Maltese friendship.