Those were the years in which Moscow tried to break into Europe. Indeed, after the popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin Crimea In 2014 it was much higher in the old continent. But the Kremlin was more interested in taking its place among the leading cadres, especially as opposed to the various European governments that had previously implemented sanctions After the capture of the peninsula on the Black Sea and the first skirmishes in the Donbass. and so Moscow often unsuccessfully tried to woo them front national Le Pen in France or Lega in Italy. as well as former Catalan independence leader carles puigdemont, The proposal, in accordance with the reconstruction carried out by some European newspapers, included daily factsWill be presented in October 2017. In the month when the Catalan regional administration, led by Puigdemont, first organized a Referendum Upon separation from Madrid and later, declaredindependence, No one recognized the two processes, not even Moscow. But it must have attracted the curiosity of the Kremlin.
Catalan questions in October 2017
The referendum in Catalonia, an autonomous Spanish region where Spanish-Catalan bilingualism is in force and where the percentage of citizens in favor of a detachment from the Spanish royal house has increased over the years, comes at the height of a season where many examples hold in Europe. have taken regionalist And separatists, Think of the 2014 Scottish referendum and other autonomist claims around the old continent, with the crisis of traditional parties favored, among other things, by economic crisis and austerity policies.
Since January 2016″generally“As the Catalan Autonomous Region has been identified, there was Carles Puigdemont. The leader of a centrist party that has dominated the local scene since the fall of Francisco Franco, the new president of the regional authority called for a referendum to leave Spain. Collection promised. A promise was kept on 1 October 2017, when polling stations were opened across the region to allow voting. A process, however, done justice illegal From Madrid, not recognized internationally. Yes’s victory, in an election that saw the participation of more than half the electorate in any case, gave Puigdemont the input to declare independence on October 27, 2017. Soon after, however, the Spanish central government commissioned Catalonia. , is also launching an investigation into high treason against Puigdemont himself, who currently still resides outside Spain.
Attempts to lay your hands on the potentially nascent Catalan Republic in those days may have originated from Moscow. This is documented by an investigation conducted in collaboration with Occrp, El Periódico, Bellingcat, IrpiMedia and iStories. Notably, on October 26, 2017, a day before the declaration of independence, a Kremlin envoy allegedly met barcelona Puigdemont Sr. interview will be a case del canonges, in the center of the metropolis and the seat of the Catalan Presidency. The Russian representative was identified in the investigation Nikolai SadovnikovPutin’s close-knit personality always straddles the delicate boundary between the diplomatic world and the business world.
News of this meeting had already been made in 2020, following statements from the magistrate investigating Puigdemont. But many analysts, as pointed out fact, considered this reconstruction impossible. For its part, the Russian embassy in Madrid also arrived with a denial. However, in the report, reference was made to conversations between Puigdemont himself and victor teradelas, one of the chief advisers to the then Catalan President. “Putin’s messenger arrives at 5 o’clock”, is the message with which Teradellus warned Puigdemont on October 26, 2017. That day, according to flight logs, a man registered under the name of Nikolai Sadovnikov landed in Barcelona on an Aeroflot 2514 flight from Moscow. 3:44 p.m.
In addition to these elements, the proof then given by testimony Live broadcast of people attending the meeting in the heart of Barcelona at 17:00. One of these particulars, which remained anonymous, told the Catalan President about the details of the Russian proposal, illustrated by Sadovnikov. Especially ten thousand. was talking about sending soldiers in Catalonia and donated a shower of billions of euros (maybe even 500) to pay for Loan Unstable in terms of freedom of territory. In return, Moscow wanted favorable legislation from Puigdemont. cryptocurrency, That is, independent Catalonia was to become a haven for the advent of cryptocurrencies, a free port for the movement of large amounts of money. All right with the Russian promise to take charge of the country’s stability. “Puigdemont got it on himself,” the source told the report’s authors. The then Catalan president decided to reject the offer on the same day.
Russian envoy’s relations with Italy
It is difficult to say whether this reconstruction corresponds to the historical truth of that period. First, it is difficult to understand whether the Kremlin really believed in the possibility of an independent and internationally recognized Catalonia. It was already clear in October 2017 that Puigdemont’s effort was doomed to failure. It is possible that in Moscow he may have thought of a sudden flight to Barcelona in order to give the former Catalan president a greater hope of success, a charge quickly followed by Madrid. In any case, the name that emerged from the evidence gathered by the authors of the reportage does not appear to be a coincidence.
Nikolai Sadovnikov is really an “old acquaintance”, especiallyItaly, His first time in our country dates back to 1984, when he was appointed press officer of the then Soviet Embassy in Rome. Then in 1991 he was in Milan with the post, which he held until 1995. vice Consul, But in addition to diplomatic activities, Sadovnikov is also involved in the financial world in Bel Pace. according to this factOver the years, they have established some of the most diversified branches of companies. Simply put, Putin’s emissaries are someone who knows the dynamics of Southern Europe very well. Asked by the same authors of the investigation, Sadovnikov confirmed that he was in Barcelona in October 2017 and had attended a meeting. But nothing more, declaring that he did not know who the participants of the meeting were. He also said that he was unable to recognize Puigdemont from some of the photographs shown by journalists.
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