The Maltese Government has refused a request by Russian authorities to use Maltese airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela.
The news was reported by Buzzfeed News and confirmed by TVM. According to reports, Russia’s request to Malta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was made last week by the Russian Embassy in Malta. Russia requested permission to fly two military aircraft from Syria to Caracas and back between tomorrow and Friday.
As per the request, the flights were humanitarian in nature intended to carry food supplies, doctors, technicians and engineers needed by Russian diplomats in Venezuela and that no weapons, explosives or hazardous materials were being carried on the planes. A few weeks ago, Malta approved a similar request from Russia and Russian military aircraft were sighted at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela.
The report also claimed that three weeks ago, two Russian military aircraft used the airspace of Greece, Malta and Cyprus to fly from Syria to Venezuela. In a New York Times report sources of the Russian news agency were quoted as saying that these flights were routine and the two planes were carrying supplies and technical consultants.