EU Parliament wants probe into alleged Catalonia-Russia ties

EU Parliament wants probe into alleged Catalonia-Russia ties |

A report adopted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Interference insists on investigating alleged ties between Catalonia’s secessionist movement and Russia, while the Catalan government rejects such ties and welcomes any investigations, affirming they have nothing to hide.

Set to be voted upon during the May plenary session, the report emphasises Russian interference in EU countries and the technological threats to democratic processes.

The report also includes a compromise amendment tabled by EPP, S&D, and Renew Europe whereby the Parliament “expresses concern” over Russia’s wide “wide-ranging interference with secessionist movements in European territories”.

The amendment does not mention any specific territory but Catalonia and further calls “relevant authorities to carry out a comprehensive investigation to fully clarify what happened”. Most specifically, it “calls on the European Centre of Excellence for Combating Hybrid Threats in Helsinki to carry out a study”.

In the past two years, parliament insisted on investigating the possible links between the former Catalan president and current independent MEP Carles Puigdemont (Junts per Catalunya) and Russian officials, advanced first by The New York Times, EuroEFE reports.

“The Catalan government neither has nor has had any relationship with Russia or with people related to the Russian government”, and “it will always respect the decisions legitimately taken by the European institutions”, Catalonia’s Foreign Minister Meritxell Serret told EURACTIV, welcoming any future investigations.

The government also considers that this amendment “aims at deviating attention from the spyware scandal against 65 Catalan independentist people”, Serret added.

“We reject this text, which has the obvious intention of discrediting not only the Catalan independence movement but all self-determination movements in Europe. The connection with Russia is the new way to fuel prejudices against a legitimate political option,” the Greens/EFA Catalan MEP Jordi Solé (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) told EURACTIV.

Independent Catalan MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí (Junts per Catalunya) declined to comment.

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