March 28, 2018 / 1:37 PM / a year ago

Malta recalls its Moscow ambassador for consultations after UK attack

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Malta is recalling its ambassador to Russia for consultations following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the British town of Salisbury, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

“The government of Malta condemns the attack in Salisbury in the strongest possible terms, and agrees with the United Kingdom government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible,” the ministry said.

Malta decided this week not to join 19 EU countries in expelling Russian diplomats over the episode, saying such a move would “effectively terminate diplomatic relations” due to the small size of Malta’s diplomatic mission in Russia.

Earlier on Wednesday, Luxembourg said that it would also recall its ambassador to Moscow having decided not to expel any Russian diplomats.

Malta has recently been trying to improve links with Russia, notably through tourism and language studies. 

Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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