Carles Puigdemont, Russia and the ‘procés’: 5 meetings, 2 versions

Josep Lluis Alayhead of the office of the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemonttraveled to Russia on three occasions in search of support for the Catalan independence process until February 2020, shortly before the covid pandemic broke out, as the protagonists of those meetings and those familiar with them explained to EL PERIÓDICO.

A Barcelona judge is investigating this plot, in which it appears as the central axis Alexander Dmitrenkoa Russian businessman based in Barcelona who has been denied Spanish nationality due to his possible links with the intelligence services of Vladimir Putin. Alay’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boyeacknowledged the trips, but assured that they were for academic and personal reasons.

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In these meetings in Russia, which were joined by one in Switzerland and another in a restaurant in Barcelona, ​​participated from journalists to members of the Duma (the Russian Parliament), as well as influential people from that country, such as Artyom Lukoyayovadopted son of Vladislav Surkovnicknamed the ‘grey cardinal’ and a former adviser to Putin.

In separate interviews in RAC-1 and, Alay stated: “I have never asked for the Russian support for independence“. He recognized all the trips to Russia and framed them in his academic work, but he did admit that he managed interviews with the media that requested it: “My goal is for Puigdemont to explain the situation in Catalonia wherever.” Two versions for five meetings .

The head of the ‘ex-president’ office admits that he traveled to Russia three times and met in Barcelona with the son of a former Putin adviser, but rejects that the meetings were to seek support for independence

Puigdemont attended the Crans-Montana international forum, which was being held in Geneva. Alay offered Dmitrenko, according to his version, to meet the ‘ex-president’ and the Russian businessman accepted. “That meeting took place in Hotel Kempinskiin the presence of journalists, in an open space and it was a simple greeting (…) Dmitrenko, who is dedicated to opening economic perspectives, wanted to greet the ‘president’. It was a five or 10-minute greeting,” says Alay.

Barcelona, ​​October 2019

On October 17, 2019, Lukoyanov and Sumin met in a Barcelona restaurant with Dmitrenko and Alay. Was a “confidential” meeting, according to some sources. Others claim that there was talk of the situation of Catalonia because the meeting coincided with the disturbances following the judgment of the ‘procés’. This is how Alay puts it: “They spend a few days here on vacation because Dmitrenko invites them, a stay that I don’t have any details about. He calls me and tells me that they are in Barcelona in case I want to say hello (…) I greet you, I don’t have lunch with them, and we only talk for about 30 minutes.

Alay’s third trip to Russia. He saw again Primakov and the journalist Chesnokov. But she also stayed with Elena Vavilova and her husband, Andrey Bezrukov. The head of Puigdemont’s office, who participated in the Catalan translation of Vavilova’s book ‘The secret of the clandestine’maintains that it was a private visit to talk about the book.

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