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Moscow regards situation in Catalonia as Spain’s internal affair

Madrid regards both laws and the plebiscite itself illegal

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russia believes the referendum on Catalonia’s independence due on October 1 is Spain’s internal affair, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"We believe that the situation in Catalonia is an internal affair of Spain," Zakharova said. "We are certain the events in Catalonia should proceed strictly in compliance with the existing Spanish legislation."

"We interpret the Catalonian authorities’ so-called independence referendum scheduled for October 1, just as other unilateral initiatives by local legislators, in the context of the decisions on the issue by the Constitutional Court of Spain."

"In our relations with Spain we proceed from the unconditional principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country," Zakharova said.

Earlier, the autonomy’s parliament voted for two laws on the referendum. One, according to the separatists, created a legal basis for the independence plebiscite, and the other, established the procedure of Catalonia’s secession from Spain, due to follow should the supporters of the idea of breaking away from Spain prevail.

Madrid regards both laws and the plebiscite itself illegal. The Spanish authorities say there will be no referendum, but the government of Catalonia is sure that it will take place.