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Russia Summons Spanish Envoy Over Minister's 'Old Enemy' Remark

Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell (right) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last year.

Russia has summoned Spain's ambassador to Moscow after acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell referred to the country as an "old enemy."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Ambassador Fernando Valderrama Pareja on May 28, days after Borrell told Spanish newspaper El Periodico: "Our old enemy, Russia, is once again saying, 'here I am,' and has returned as a threat.”

Borrell's "unfriendly" comment "damages the relations between Spain and Russia, the mutual perception of bilateral relations as friendly, based on a partnership and mutually-beneficial," the Russian ministry said.

Spain's Foreign Ministry has not immediately commented.

Russia's relations with the West have soured since Russia's takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax