Moscow chimed in on Wednesday concerning statements made by Alfonso Dastis, Spain’s Foreign Minister, and PM Mariano Rajoy in which they denounced a campaign of "manipulation and disinformation" coming from Russia after Catalonia’s independence referendum on October 1st.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied any interference by his country in the Catalan independence process, and said that these accusations are an example of the "rampant anti-Russian hysteria in the West", as well as the inability of the countries in question to deal with their own internal problems.
"We are used to it. According to some observations, some of our partners in Europe and the United States appear to have nothing better to do than to make accusations against our media and label them foreign agents", said Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs. He added: "This sensationalist hysteria has probably been created to distract their voters’ attention from their inability to resolve those internal problems".
Almost at the same time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also rejected the accusations and assured that there is not even a single piece of evidence to support them. "Neither the Spanish authorities, nor NATO, nor the media have presented any argument that gives credibility to these accusations. Thus, we consider these statements to be unfounded, as they appear to be an extension of the same hysteria that currently exists in the USA and some other countries", insisted Peskov.
The reaction from the Russian government officials comes after Dastis said that Russian intervention in the Catalan crisis "had been proven", as there were "data showing how network traffic following the referendum (of October 1st) passed specifically through networks located in Russia and in other countries". In recent weeks and days, however, both the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, and the Russian ambassador to Spain, as well as official Russian media outlets, had already denounced what they consider a campaign of false accusations by some Spanish media against Russia over the Catalan crisis.
Russia maintains the official position that the Catalan crisis is an internal Spanish affair that must be resolved within the framework of the law and the Constitution.