Russia hand? Spain’s leader confident of handling Catalonia election meddling

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A day after Spain confirmed the ‘misinformation’ campaign during Catalonia referendum had originated from Russia, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy today said he is confident that his government can handle any outside attempts to tamper with the the upcoming elections in Catalonia on December 21.

While Rajoy did not give details on what security measures Spain will take to prevent any interference with next month’s regional election, but said “people will vote with complete liberty.”

Earlier this week, Spain’s Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal had said how “many actions” to destabilize Catalonia had “come from Russian territory”. She also said that Spain government can not “say with certainty” if Russian government was involved.

Spain’s ministers had said they had evidence that state and private-sector Russian groups, as well as groups in Venezuela, used social media sites to massively publicize the separatist cause and swing public opinion.

Following this, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the allegations as unsubstantiated.

“We consider these accusations unfounded,” Peskov said Wednesday, adding that Spain’s concerns sounded like a “continuation of the hysteria in the U.S. and some other countries.”

The European Union’s strategic communications unit had recently reported several instances of disinformation coming from Russian news outlets linked to the Kremlin.

 

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