Letter Shows Malta Gave Clearance to Fuel Russian Tanker

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) —

A letter obtained by The Associated Press shows that Malta gave diplomatic clearance to a Russian tanker a week before the foreign minister said the country would not refuel Russian ships.

Foreign Minister George Vella announced Thursday that Malta would not be refueling ships from Russia. The announcement came a day after Spain refused to resupply a flotilla of Russian warships suspected to be bound for the eastern Mediterranean to support Russian and Syrian airstrikes in Syria.

The letter shows that the Russian military replenishment fuel tanker RFS Dubna was given diplomatic clearance to berth in Malta for three days beginning Nov. 4.

The Maltese government on Friday refused to comment on reports that it withdrew the Russian tanker’s permission to anchor under pressure from the United States and Britain.

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