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Spanish top diplomat sees no reason for crisis in relations with Russia over Catalonia

November 17, 17:42 UTC+3 MADRID

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that Madrid’s allegations concerning Moscow’s "interference" in Spain’s domestic affairs were harmful for bilateral relations

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MADRID, November 17. /TASS/. Spain authorities do not see any reasons for a crisis in relations with Russia over the Catalonia issue, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis Quecedo said at a press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Madrid on Friday.

"I don’t think that it means the beginning of a crisis," the Spanish top diplomat said. He stressed that the country’s authorities did not believe that Moscow was behind the spread of propaganda. Dastis Quecedo added that he saw "no crisis in relations between the governments" of Spain and Russia.

On Tuesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a radio interview that he did not suspect Moscow of being involved in spreading propaganda about the Catalonia crisis. At the same time, he confirmed that some of the information had come from Russia’s territory. According to Rajoy, fake social media accounts were created to spread propaganda about the situation in the region.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Madrid’s allegations concerning Moscow’s interference in Spain’s domestic affairs were harmful for bilateral relations.

Catalonia crisis

On September 6, the Catalan government signed a decree on holding a referendum on independence. On October 1, a referendum on seceding from Spain took place in the region. A total of 90.18% of the voters, or more than two million people, said "yes" to Catalonia’s independence. Madrid said the referendum was illegal and refused to recognize its results.

On October 27, the Catalan parliament passed a declaration of independence. The Spanish Senate, in turn, approved the government’s request for activating Article 155 of the country’s Constitution.

After that, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the dissolution of the Catalan parliament and dismissed President of the Government of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, as well as members of his cabinet. Madrid also called a regional election for December 21.

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