Russian diplomat comments on Catalonia events
"We have voiced our position…ahead of the corresponding referendum, while the events were taking place, and following the corresponding statements that had been made a few days before and were essential for Spain," she noted. "This position was, first, clear, secondly, consecutive and, thirdly, did not run counter to the earlier stated Russia’s opinion on the corresponding issue… Moreover, the Russian government, the foreign minister and the presidential administration members expressed and reaffirmed Russia’s position on the issue numerous times."
Zakharova commented on the recent statement by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics who called the statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman (on the Catalonian referendum) inadequate and said that "the Russian Foreign Ministry employees’ competence is the ministry’s problem." "We were not just surprised, but indignant with the statement of the specified foreign policy maker who accused - at least that’s what we read in mass media, with no disproof following - Russia of involvement in the events in Spain," Zakharova said. "Unlike this policy maker, who allowed himself such statements instead of voicing his country’s position on the given issue, Russia provided its estimation and position numerous times." It is quite clear whose statements are inadequate, the diplomat said.
On the September 28 briefing Zakharova called the situation in Catalonia Spain’s domestic issue and highlighted that Moscow respects the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. "We regard the so-called independence referendum, like other unilateral initiatives by local lawmakers, from the perspective of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions taken on these issues," she said.
On October 1, Catalonia voted on seceding from Spain, with 2.28mln out of 5.31mln Catalonians with the voting right participating, 90.18% of whom voted for independence. Madrid considers the referendum illegal and refuses to recognize its results. Meanwhile, Barcelona stated ahead of the vote that the referendum will be valid.
On October 10, Catalonian head Carles Puigdemont summed up the referendum’s outcome in the regional parliament. It was unknown until the evening whether he would announce Catalonia’s secession from Spain on a unilateral basis. The politician and other regional leaders finally signed the declaration of independence, but it was suspended due to negotiations with Madrid.