The ties of Puigdemont with Russia They are back in the news since the judge investigating them decided to reinitiate the case and also since the European Parliament has formally asked Spain to investigate the issue. This Friday, one of the people who participated in the contacts between the former president and the Russians, the businessman and former member of the CDC Victor Terradellas, has tried to downplay the importance of those meetings. “There was a meeting, but later it turned out that it came to nothing, in pure anecdote“, he said in an interview on Catalunya Ràdio.
It refers to the meeting that took place in Palau de la Generalitat on October 26, 2017, one day before the unilateral declaration of independencebetween Puigdemont and two Russian emissaries: Nikolay Sadovnikov and Sergey Motin. It has never been fully accredited as to why they met with the then president. Sadovnikov was a former diplomat turned into a businessman and Mutiny a military.
Terradellas has admitted that the meeting took place, but has assured that it was just one of many international contacts which he tried to provide both to Puigdemont and to his predecessor in office, Artur Mas. “We had contacts with everyone from the world, from USA to Germany“, he said, and then added that “anecdotally” also with Russia.
Due to his status as former head of international relations of Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), Terradellas had that ancestry in Puigdemont y Mas. He himself said this Friday that he sponsored “many other meetings that came forward during the decade that the ‘procés’ lasted”, especially in 2017. “[Mas y Puigdemont] they met with Many people that we believed it was interesting to always talk based on what the independence process peaceful Catalan,” he stressed.
The judge who is handling the case in which both Puigdemont as Terradellas, Joaquin Aguirreleans towards a different thesis from that of the businessman and considers that in that meeting an attempt was made to forge economic and political ties between Catalonia and Russia. In his last resolution on the case he pointed out that a crime of high treason or against national security (interference by a foreign country) could have been committed. What is notable is that this crime is not included in the amnesty. In one of the messages from the cell phone seized from Terradellasthe businessman referred to Sadovnikov as “Putin’s emissary.”
Not only Terradellas has defended himself against the position of the European Parliament or of the judge’s movements. Puigdemont himself has also done it. Regarding the magistrate, he has criticized that he is a staunch opponent of the independence movement and that this is what has motivated him to reopen a “delirious” court case. Regarding the decision of the European Parliament, he has said that it is only a PP strategy, in this case at the European level, to wear him down. Until now, the justice system has not proven any crime regarding theoretical Russian plot of the ‘procés’. The National Court decided to archive the case that opened its day in 2021, while the Barcelona court of Aguirre keeps the case open, but without progress.