Russia is calling on Madrid to provide specific evidence of its alleged interference in the situation in Catalonia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.
On Monday, Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal Garcia said the Spanish government was sure that the “propaganda” about the Catalan crisis was spread in the internet by entities based in Russia. De Cospedal pointed out that it was necessary to “speak out loud” about certain organizations trying to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and bring instability to Europe, in order to settle this problem.
“It would be preferable if our Spanish colleagues started being responsible for their words and provided specific facts,” Zakharova told a briefing, adding that such accusations were damaging for the Russia-Spain relations.
The spokeswoman expressed her regrets that Madrid joined the anti-Russia campaign launched by western media.
“Such ignorance of objective facts and unjustified resort to unsubstantiated accusations do not positively characterize the Spanish diplomacy,” Zakharova added.
The crisis in Catalonia has escalated since the region held an independence referendum on October 1 despite the Madrid authorities deeming it illegal.
A number of Spanish media, including El Pais newspaper, have published a set of articles about the Russian media’s allegedly biased coverage of the situation in Catalonia and about support of separatists by “Russian hackers.” On Friday, the Russian Embassy in Spain criticized Spanish media outlets for spreading rumors about an alleged “Russian hand” in the situation in Catalonia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as other officials, has repeatedly said that Moscow considers the Catalan crisis a Spanish domestic issue, which should be resolved in line with the country’s constitution.