European Union wipes its hands of the unrest in Spain, prompting Vlad Putin to call out the EU for "double standards".
In response to Catalonia’s calls to step in, the European Union has ruled out any intervention in the growing crisis in Spain.
The Catalan government’s appeal for assistance came after two of their pro-independence figureheads — Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez — were arrested on charges of sedition.
Since then Spain has also indicated it would begin the process of imposing direct rule on the autonomous region.
This has only inflamed the situation. And while support for a Catalonia break-away continues to surge, and mass demonstrations regularly fill the streets of Barcelona, the EU has rejected Catalan president Carles Puigdemont’s call to broker peace between the two warring factions.
The European Union response
“There is no room, no space for any kind of mediation or international initiative or action,” said European Council president Donald Tusk.
“I am of course for many reasons in permanent contact with (Spain’s) Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy… There is no hiding that the situation in Spain is concerning, but our position… is clear.”
Despite further unrest being almost inevitable, Mr Tusk revealed the crisis was not on the agenda of the EU Council summit. Somewhat surprising considering the council addresses pressing issues and foreign affairs.
Putin calls out EU for hypocrisy
Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused the EU of having “double standards”.
In a speech at the Valdai Discussion Club event in Sochi on Thursday, Putin compared the situation in Spain to Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, which the EU supported.
“You even welcomed the collapse of a number of states in Europe… You were so heedless in using this political situation and the desire to appease the big brother from Washington to support the separation of Kosovo so unanimously, provoking other such processes in other regions,” he said.
“According to some of our colleagues there are true freedom fighters and there are separatists who cannot defend their own rights, even through democratic mechanisms … This is the most poignant example of double standards and they pose a great risk for the stable development of Europe and other continents.”