Getting neutrality and non-alignment right

Some of my readers who have written to me recently are still asking me about the implications and the meaning of neutrality. I would suggest they read my previous article on what neutrality and non-alignment mean for Malta as per article 3 of the constitution. IF you are too lazy to read that, here is what I wrote in point-form,

Neutrality means we do not use Malta as a foreign base and we do not engage in a conflict with one side or the other in a war.

Neutrality does not mean we don’t take international positions on who is right and who is wrong in a war, especially if this war affects us in many ways.

Neutrality does not mean we ignore the UN Charter.

Neutrality does not mean that we should be open for business with anyone under the sun.

Neutrality does not mean we are complacent in the face of war and aggression.

Neutrality does not mean we are bystanders of the world.

If Russia is causing wars, and instability and threatening the collective security of Europe, we are bound by the constitution and our national interest to take a position against Russia.

We could support Ukraine by supporting sanctions on Russia, and we would still be neutral. Our neutrality is about Malta’s use as a base and on the use of armed forces – it has got nothing to do with foreign trade, sanctions, diplomacy and international arrangements or even alignments.

Non-alignment. Yes, we can align ourselves with Ukraine an the West by favouring sanctions against Russia and by doing so we wouldn’t be breaking our constitutional neutrality. When Malta became non-aligned in the 1970s, it meant we wouldn’t participate in a war between the USA and the USSR – that what originally was the Non-Aligned  Movement all about. This international movement is no longer active today because the world has changed since then. Taking international and political stands effect reflect trade does not mean we are aligning ourselves with a party in war militarily.

I hope this clears it out.


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  1. While Metsola goes to Davos, our government makes fools of us abroad – Mark Camilleri

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