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Kremlin comments on Catalan independence referendum

Russia is consistent in its stance that the Catalan referendum is Spain's domestic affair, Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"As for the developments in Spain, as you have correctly noted, Moscow's consistent position is that it is a domestic affair of the kingdom," he told journalists.

He refrained from commenting on police actions in Catalonia on the voting day, saying only that "Moscow thinks it inappropriate when anybody comments on the methods of work of Russian law enforcers."

On Sunday, Catalonia held a referendum on secession from Spain. A total of 90% of voters, or slightly more than two million people, said "yes" to Catalonia's independence. The plebiscite was held in the tense atmosphere as the national police and civil guard were taking effort to stop the voting, seizing ballot boxes and papers, as ruled by a Spain court.

The Catalan authorities planned to open about 2,300 polling stations, of which about 300 were closed by law enforcers. Police actions sparked clashes with the voters. Police were reported to use rubber bullets and tear gas. According to the Catalan authorities, as many as 844 people were hurt in police violence. The Spanish interior ministry, in turn, said that 13 law enforcers had been hurt in clashes.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 02Oct17]

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