Brussels is taking a step forward for that The links of the Catalan independence movement to Russia are examined in the middle of the debate on the processing of the amnesty law in Spain, which, as it is currently drafted, can be withdrawn from the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in the event that the crimes of treason are proven because of his collaboration with the Kremlin.
The vice president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, indicated this Tuesday that the European Parliament should investigate the separatist links of the government of Vladimir Putin while at the same time pointing to growing Russian interference to destroy democracy in Europe.
“It is the duty of this house to investigate who does what and under what conditions to play the game in Moscow, said the person responsible for the protection of the European lifestyle during a debate in the European Parliament focused on Russia’s interference in European democratic processes, accompanied by a resolution to be voted on this Thursday. Schinas expressed the relationship of Catalan secessionism with Russian officials, echoing information about “close and regular contacts,” including visits by officials between 2017 and 2020.
Thus, the Greek commissioner focused on the case of the former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, after expanding the investigation of the judicial case, which showed that his entourage established links with former Russian diplomats within the framework of the struggle for independence in 2017.
The vice president of the community added this case to the Latvian MEP, Tatjana Zdanoka, accused of collaborating for two decades with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Precisely, this case has sparked debate in Strasbourg following the revelations of a journalistic investigation that showed he worked for Russian intelligence. During the debate, Zdanoka himself took the floor and rejected the accusations, saying that he was “an agent in favor of peace, against fascism, and in favor of a united Europe.”
Criticism of the Spanish Government
The same goes for Strasbourg. Several Spanish MEPs took the floor and spoke of the alleged relations of Catalan separatism with Russia, also accusing the government of Pedro Sánchez of wanting amnesty for these possible crimes regarding the interference of Moscow in Europe.
This is what happened to Citizens, whose representative Adrian Vázquez spoke to Puigdemont, who was not in the room, to point out that the whole scheme of Russia in the process ends up being known and “the collaboration with the Russian regime from his chair does not come for free.” At this point, he asked European socialists to support the resolution on Russian interference and “not allow themselves to be forced by socialist MEPs.”
while Maite Pagazaurtunda targeted Sánchez for “engineering the amnesty law as a massive operation of impunity.” and contempt for judicial independence,” regardless of the collaboration with Russian interference. The spokesperson of the PP, Dolors Montserrat, directly charged the Executive of Sánchez for promoting amnesty and allowing the independence movement to “be alone and slander the judges.”
We are from Putin’s emissaries with Puigdemont in Spain to secret meetings with refugees outside the EU. The refugee began with the support of the Kremlin and ended with support from the government to destroy the foundations of democracy,” he criticized, demanding a deep investigation into the “Russian sphere”, which he said is “public enemy number ‘one’ in Europe.”
On behalf of Vox, Hermann Tertsch emphasized that it comes to light that Putin participated in the “coup d’état” in Spain in relation to process independence, regretting that now Puigdemont is “a protégé” of the head of the government. “He must stay in power illegally,” he said, making sure that the “impunity” of the Catalan leader shows the weakness of Europe. This intervention cost him the interruption of the vice president of the European Parliament, the Austrian socialist Evelyn Regner, to ask him to adjust the subject of the debate.
Due to the attacks of the Spanish Government, MEP Fernando López Aguilar criticized right-wing groups in Spain for “distracting attention from an important issue” such as Russian disinformation methods to “damage” the Executive of Sánchez.
Meanwhile, Junts MEP and former councilor Antoni Comín rejected all “false” accusations about Russian influence in Catalonia, pointing out that the Catalan independence movement “is not anti-European” and “nor does it have relations with Russia. ” In this sense, he responded that European democracy was destroyed by the use of “blasphemy and lies” against political opponents and assured that the freedom movement faced judicial persecution.
In view of the resolution to be voted on by the European Parliament, the European People’s Party’s proposal points to “deep concern” about the relationship between Catalan secessionism and the Kremlin.insisting that the interference in Catalonia is part of a wider strategy to undermine Europe and calling on the competent Spanish authorities to “continue, intensify, and quickly end” investigations into Russian interference, which is linked to Catalonia.
On the part of the liberals, a group to which Ciudadanos belong, the text demands that Puigdemont’s relationship with the Kremlin be brought to the Advisory Council of the European Parliament’s code of conduct and that Spain “effectively” investigate the connection between MEPs and Moscow, demanding the use of the law against illegal relations with the governments of third countries.
The liberals insisted on the “seriousness” of the links between Russia and Catalan secessionist parties and stressed that the “close and regular” contact of Russian officials with representatives of the independence movement is part of the Kremlin’s strategy to manipulate and destabilize Europe.