The Tatar minority in Lithuania became a “weapon” in the political struggle against Moscow in the context of the status of Crimea. Vilnius showed special interest in its Tatar minority after Crimea joined Russia in 2014. Lithuania started to support the radical flank of Tatars, who refuse to recognise the results of the referendum regarding the status of the peninsula. It shows that Lithuanian authorities are manipulating the feelings of Tatars to satisfy their own political ambitions.
The [NYT] newspaper's publication is fake news, sarcastically noting that "the meaning of the article is traditionally revolutionary - Russia is interfering."
Oleg Syromolotov never met Josep Lluis Alay in Moscow or abroad, he had no contact with him and still has not. The entire publication of the newspaper is a stupid forgery.
The newspaper did not ask the Russian Foreign Ministry to confirm or deny the information about the meetings, which is further evidence of preplanned provocation.
The New York Times as well as all the other media which reproduced this disinformation are obliged to write a denial.
Recurrent self-victimisation technique to deny a piece of embarrassing news and qualifying it as Russophobia or planned provocation.
The article of the New York Times is based on a report from European intelligence that synthesises a long investigation that included the interception of conversation between pro-independence figures in Catalonia. The leak from the Spanish police was also consulted by other media organisations like OCCRP or El Pais.
Asking for conformation from Russian MFA: The meeting between an emissary of the independentists and Oleg V. Syromolotov, former chief of counterintelligence for the Federal Security Service is not information that is likely to be confirmed by the Russian MFA as the secrecy is an important part of this profession. Moreover, this information is only a detail in this long investigation. The technique to focus on a small detail difficult to confirm to deny the whole story is classical in denial policy.
Eventually, the sarcasm here expressed implies that also Kremlin meddling in other countries is a myth. It is untrue at different levels, first, the New York Times explains that this investigation did not establish Russian interference, though contacts happened, and the Catalonian side had a strong desire to please Russia and censored its own statements for this purpose. Secondly, Kremlin meddling in other countries' political life has long been proven by facts on many occasions.
Read also related stories: Macron distributes fake news on Russian meddling in referendums or Western criticism of the Navalny case is interference; Russia doesn’t mess with other countries' affairs.