The leader of the ERC in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, has tried to cover the box of thunder that opened this Tuesday by linking Carles Puigdemont with Russia. After 24 hours at odds with Junts, Rufián has apologized for the “forcefulness” with which he expressed himself when defining the former president’s entourage as “gentlemen who walked around Europe thinking they were James Bond”, although he has justified his words for the war in Ukraine. “It is very hard that they link us with the Putin government,” he has argued.
Junts accuses Rufián of “miserable” after charging Puigdemont’s team for his contacts with Russia
“Yesterday I expressed myself forcefully. I apologize if that bothered depending on who”, Rufián said in statements to TV3. However, the Republican has insisted, in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that “the situation requires this forcefulness” because “the credibility of the entire independence movement” is at stake. Rufián has skirted the fact that Junts and ERC share Government and has maintained that the “diversity” between Executive partners “is the present and future of politics.”
“In no way, given the panorama, we should let them link a peaceful movement with a satrap like Putin, and if this happens we must act forcefully. If this vehemence upset someone I can do nothing but apologize, but everyone understands the images of dead civilians, including children. It is very hard for them to link us to all this, to this government of Putin”, she asserted.
Rufián’s words have not tempered the new row between ERC and Junts. The Junts parliamentary group has registered Rufián’s request to appear before the Parliament’s Institutional Affairs Committee to report “on the accusations and defamations that link independence with Russia.” The general secretary of the party, Jordi Sànchez, called the ERC spokesman in Congress “miserable”, while the parliamentary spokesman, Albert Batet, demanded that the Republicans “disavow” him, something that has not happened.
ERC will not disavow Rufián because the party agreed with its spokesman in Congress to publicly censor the contacts of Puigdemont’s entourage with the Kremlin’s orbit. One of the protagonists of these contacts, Josep Lluís Alay, head of Puigdemont’s office, has denied, in an interview with elDiario.es, that he sought Putin’s support for the procés and has regretted Rufián’s words.
ERC sources explained this Wednesday that, as a result of the war in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, the party’s leadership considered it appropriate to reply to these news by stressing that they have no contact with the Kremlin regime. That if, in ERC they admit that the phrase used by their spokesman in Madrid was of their own harvest, reports Europa Press.
“Our alignment must always be with Western democracies, that must be made clear, we must in no way be linked to the Kremlin, and less so now,” Rufián stressed on Wednesday. But the crisis is far from over: the Junts spokesman, Josep Rius, has demanded that the ERC “disavow” its spokesman in Madrid and has warned that the party will “analyze” the situation and its eventual consequences on the Government because they are a few words “extremely serious”, without advancing any scenario.