Minister stresses importance of Malta-Russia relations

Adoption by gay couples expected to be the main focus of discussions in official visit of Russia Deputy Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister George Vella hoping to maintain 'good level of co-operation' between Malta and Russia
Foreign Minister George Vella hoping to maintain 'good level of co-operation' between Malta and Russia

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, George Vella this afternoon met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Meshkov, on an official visit to Malta, to discuss the bilateral relations between Malta's and Russia.

The meeting also served as an opportunity for Malta and Russia to come to an understanding regarding the recent issues on the adoption of Russian children in Malta.

Russia had previously expressed their concern at the fact that, with the civil union's bill, Russian children could effectively be adopted by gay couples living in Malta.

At this afternoon's meeting at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vella said that the government understood that Russia had a right to analyse all adoption cases and that this right had always existed.

He said that Russian officials would also be allowed to visit the children to see their living conditions.

The two ministers also agreed to set up a task force to discuss political and business relations, including tourism.

Vella said that the relations between the European Union states and Russia were very important, whilst stressing the importance of maintaining a good level of co-operation between the two countries, as well as to make sure that Russia's relations with the European Union as a whole remain strong," he said.

"It is only through such cooperation that we will move forward," he said.

Just as he did earlier this week whilst in Brussels for a Foreign Affairs Council, Vella condemned the ongoing violence in Syria but during today's meeting, he acknowledged Russia's important role in the ongoing conflicts, as well as those in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

Meanwhile Meshkov, who was present for the meeting after Russia's Foreign Minister was unable to make the official visit to Malta, said that Russia was "very happy" with the relations between the two countries. He said that the political dialogue between the two countries has always been good and he hoped that they would remain so.

Ghad li fid-daqs ir-Russja l-ikbar pajjiz tad-dinja u tifrex sew fl-Asja, il-qofol tas-setgha taghha dejjem kien fil-parti Ewropeja; ir-Russja dejjem kienet parti mill-'kawlata' Ewropeja. Kien zball kbir meta, flok ghinna lil Gobacev u iktar u iktar waqt Jeltsin, ghamilna minn kollox biex indghajjfuha u nahtfu li stajna, minflok stajna zrajna l-hbiberija u l-fiducja bejn xulxin. Nittama li bdejna nitghallmu; hekk nistghu nidhlu f'dinja multipolari u naharbu mill-jasar u l-ibbuljar tal-monopolarizmu. PROSIT ministru