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Russian Ambassador to Malta Vladimir Malygin's commentary on US Charge d'Affaires in Malta Mark Shapiro's article (published in "The Times of Malta" on October 23, 2019)

No moral right to blame Russia

 

In his article, published in The Times of Malta on October 12, 2019 US Charge d’Affaires Mark Shapiro wrote that “Russia continues its Cold War legacy of subversive activities and leverages both official and non-official actors to undermine democratic practices and rule of law”. Simultaneously my country was blamed for having no respect for sovereignty of its neighbors and the rights of its own people. It all was topped with accusations in aggression and interference in elections.

However, it seems to me that the true state of affairs is quite opposite. We believe that the Cold War legacy starts with NATO expansion to the East and the US unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and now from the INF Treaty generating risks of dismantling the entire architecture of nuclear arms control agreements.

Speaking of “respect for sovereignty”, I really doubt that the US even has a moral right to blame Russia or any other country after bombardment of Yugoslavia and Iraq, invading Libya and Syria in direct violation of international law. To justify such a “democracy export”, as we all know, a concept of a “rules-based order” was invented.

In this context I would underline that Russia was invited to Syria by a legitimate government to help fight terrorism and to preserve Syria as a single state with territorial integrity. With our support the Syrian Army has almost liberated its land from terrorists and the country started to restore peaceful life. Regrettably, instead of joining forces without dual standards the US preferred to use criminals for their own geopolitical goals.

The accusations of Russia in interfering in the elections looked inappropriate and groundless. In case Mr.Shapiro meant the American ones, we would advise him to look through the Mueller Report and to find any reliable evidences of these allegations. But here is the interesting part: the sanctions imposed against our country under the pretext of those accusations are still in effect. Let me emphasize: we have never interfered in the internal affairs of any foreign state including the United States. This is what makes us markedly different from the US and some of its allies, which, for instance, supported the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, recognized illegitimate “president” of Venezuela, etc.

As for Malta’s bid to impose sanctions on persons involved in the so-called “Debono case” we would like to once again clarify that Russia has used a “technical hold” pursuant to its firm belief that any evidences should first be verified and confirmed. Unlike our western partners, we do not rely on “highly likely” charges.

Russia has always tried and will continue to do its best to promote positive and unifying trends in international affairs. We are consistently advocating collective methods of resolving urgent problems with reliance on international law, the UN's central coordinating role, true partnership of the main centres of power and influence and respect for the right of nations to determine their own future.

 

 

Vladimir Malygin,

Ambassador of Russia to Malta

 

18 October 2019