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Nicola Sturgeon appears to have confirmed plans to hold a second independence referendum in Scotland next year, in 2023, though the campaigning would likely begin before this time (if it has not already). This is in spite of Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. But Professor Azeem Ibrahim, Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, has now suggested the two are actually link, with Putin eyeing up division in the West.
Scottish independence is the “most immediate way” to split the UK and deal a hammer blow to unity in the West, wrote Professor Ibrahim in the Scotsman.
And the benefits of this could, he added, be plentiful for the Kremlin.
Disputes over nuclear deterrence would immediately erupt into an “unholy mess”, with the SNP clear it wants Trident out of Clyde and the rest of the UK lacking a location “as strategically sound”.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford earlier this week doubled down on his party’s opposition to a nuclear deterrence, in light of Putin’s invasion, branding its benefits “far-fetched, to say the least”.
Pro UK Scottish blogger Effie Deans told Express.co.uk in response: “If Ukraine had nuclear weapons, Russia would not now be attacking it.
“The same logic obviously applies to Scotland’s security.”
Professor Ibrahim also suggested an independent Scotland would be already “closer to Russia’s sphere of influence”, citing “various friendships cultivated between Russian influence agents and the SNP”.
This, alongside Scotland’s lesser strategic power outside the UK, would cause the SNP to be “much more vulnerable to the designs of the Kremlin”.
READ MORE: SNP’s Ian Blackford demands Britain’s nuclear deterrent is AXED
Professor Ibrahim added: “Upon independence, Scotland would also find itself in immediate financial troubles: a problem that Uncle Vlad would no doubt be eager to help with.
“And particularly an SNP government would have aligned ‘messaging’ (read propaganda) needs to blame everything that goes wrong in Scotland during the transition period and for a while after on dark manoeuvres from Westminster.”
This, he argued, would cause continued rows in the West – a perfect distraction to events in the East, and a dampener of any ability in the West to respond.
One aspect of the independence overlooked by the Professor was, however, the position in all this of the European Union.
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SNP officials have stated on countless occasions they would like to see a Scotland out of the UK back in the Brussels bloc, and in NATO.
For Cameron Archibald, Head of Research at Modern Money Scotland, this made Professor Ibrahim’s point make “little sense”.
He stated two reasons for this in a post on Twitter: “One: Putin already said back in 2014 that while he wouldn’t directly comment on Indy, there were benefits to big states.
“Two: The SNP are massively pro-EU, and Indy gives Scotland the chance to return to it.
“Putin despises the idea.”
He added: “Overall Putin couldn’t really care about the actual constitutional make up of the UK. He cares about foreign policy.”
Despite this, Professor Ibrahim maintained: “If Mr Putin is so in favour of Scottish independence, should that not give us reason to pause and examine what his actual motives are, and whether they are indeed aligned with our future well-being and where we see ourselves going as a country?”
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