Russian president Vladimir Putin claims a stand-off over Catalonia’s independence has been spawned by Western double standards in treating secessionist movements.

Speaking on Thursday at a forum for foreign policy experts in Sochi, Mr Putin said the crisis should be solved on the basis of the Spanish law.

At the same time, he criticised Washington’s European allies for quickly supporting Kosovo’s 2008 independence bid from Serbia.

He said Kosovo has “provoked similar processes in other regions of Europe”.

Russia has long pointed at Kosovo to counter Western condemnation of Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Mr Putin added that attempts to divide secessionists into “fighters for freedom and democracy” and “separatists” pose a “serious danger for stable development of Europe”.

 

AP