MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Spanish Ambassador to Russia Ignacio Ibanez Rubio has expressed gratitude to the Russian leadership for its stance on the situation in Catalonia at the end of last year, when the region attempted to gain independence.
"I would like to take advantage of the opportunity to again thank the Russian government for its support in the time of crisis for us, for respect for our position," the diplomat said in an interview with TASS.
"The Russian government has stressed more than once that this is our country’s internal affair and that the solution to the crisis should correspond with [Spain’s] Constitution," he recalled. "At the same time, it was noted on numerous occasions that Moscow wants to develop relations with a united Spain."
He confirmed that the Spanish government is ready to maintain dialogue with all political forces that are part of Catalonia’s new government. "We will see in the near future how the situation will evolve. In light of this, I would like to note that we will continue to inform the Russian government about the situation in our country," the ambassador promised. He added that Madrid counts on "Moscow’s further support for Spain’s unity and efforts to overcome the crisis".
On October 27, Catalonia’s parliament voted for a resolution proclaiming independence based on the results of a referendum for autonomy held on October 1. The Spanish authorities declared the plebiscite to be illegal. The Senate (upper house of the Spanish parliament) approved Madrid’s request to implement Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. This article, which had never been used before, allows for restricting Catalonia’s self-government.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that a decision had been made to relieve Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his government of their duties. Also, Rajoy dismissed the Catalan parliament and called for early parliamentary elections in Catalonia.