Europe could have looked strikingly different today if Catalan politicians took Russia up on its alleged offer to help Catalonia achieve independence in 2017 – at least according to the Spanish authorities.
If only they said “da” and agreed to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea as legitimate, a clandestine Russian group founded during the Gorbachev era would have sent 10,000 men to Barcelona to force the Spanish state into submission and, amid much chaos and bloodshed, declare former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont as the president of the independent Republic of Catalonia. The Kremlin, meanwhile, would have paid off all of Catalonia’s national debt and supported the new country in the international arena, leaving the European Union embarrassed and divided.
This is not the plot of a cheap spy novella, but the latest far-fetched accusation the Spanish state directed at the leaders of the Catalan independence movement to undermine the legitimacy of their struggle.
Full article at Al Jazeera’s website. Date of publication: 09/12/2020.