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Catalonia meddling claim has damaged Spanish relations with Russia, Kremlin warns

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Catalonia meddling claim has damaged Spanish relations with Russia, Kremlin warns
File photo of the Kremlin. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP
11:09 CET+01:00
Spanish allegations that Russia meddled in Catalonia's independence crisis have hurt bilateral relations between the two countries, the Kremlin warned.

"We would like our Spanish colleagues to start answering for their words and present concrete facts," the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson María Zajárova said on Thursday.

Spain's Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis earlier this week said he would raise concerns of "disinformation and manipulation" from Russia in the Catalan independence crisis at a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers.

READ ALSO: Spain tells EU it suspects Russian meddling in Catalonia

The Kremlin quickly responded by asking the European nation to provide concrete evidence of its claim. Zajárova reiterated that demand at a media conference on Thursday.

"The disregard for objective facts and unjustified enthusiasm with which accusations are made without evidence, based on – we understand – dubious sources, clearly doesn't speak well of Spanish diplomacy," she noted.

"The only thing these steps achieve is to hurt Russian-Spanish relations."

In a radio interview earlier this week, Spanish PM Rajoy cast doubt on the claim made by his own Foreign Minister, saying he did not have any concrete information to say that Russia was behind meddling in Catalonia:

"I can only affirm proven facts, I'm the president of the government and I need to be responsible. I don't have any concrete data to tell me that the Russian government is behind it".

READ ALSO: NATO general tells Russia to 'stop meddling' following accusations of Catalonia interference

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