EU Confirms New York Times Lied About Alleged Russian Links to Catalan Independence Movement

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has denied any link between the EU intelligence agency and the New York Times report on the links between the Kremlin and the Catalan independence movement. This comes following a EU parliamentary question raised by exiled Catalan MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín, and Clara Ponsatí.

A September article in the “New York Times” stated that trusted sources from the EU INTCEN, and EU intelligence agency, had confirmed to them that Josep Lluís Alay, Head of Office of exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, had traveled to Russia to gain the Kremlin’s support for independence. The article also falsely suggested that Russia was behind the civil disobedience platform Tsunami Democràtic.

Exiled President Puigdemont and his Head of Office, Alay, denied the accusations and challenged the newspaper to show evidence. Political parties in Spain, including the far-right and neo-Nazis, used it to launch an international smear campaign against the independence movement. Puigdemont tweeted that the disengagement of the intelligence agency “should make someone think, especially those who seized the opportunity to take advantage of.”

Gonzalo Boye, the lawyer of Puigdemont and Alay, asked the New York Times to show from which agency the report came, since it would not affect the sources in any possible way. “It would be very interesting for them to put this alleged report on the table.”

However, the NYT refused to show evidence, which confirms that this was a mere fabrication to discredit the independence movement. Clarifications about who was behind it, their real motivations, and whether they got special funding from any Spanish institution are needed for public interest and accountability.

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