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Iran Press TV

Nicola Sturgeon takes London to task over Russia report

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 5:21 PM

As the British political establishment digests the contents of the Russia report, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has seized the initiative by calling out the government for its complacency.

The report leveled a very direct accusation against Russia, namely that entities linked to the Russian state had tried to influence the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.

The report went even further by describing this alleged interference as "the first post-Soviet Russian interference in a Western democratic process".

For her part, Sturgeon was at pains to distance the Scottish independence movement from the alleged activities of the Russian state.

To that end, Scotland's First Minister said: "The Scottish independence movement and the values I and my party stand for I don't think could be further removed from the kind of values that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime stand for".

Sturgeon, who is also the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), said she would have "no objection" to a "deeper inquiry" into possible Russian interference into Scottish affairs.

The SNP leader threw the ball into London's court by saying the British government "should be taking greater steps to find out" whether this "interference" is happening in the first place.

"I don't think you can draw any conclusion from the three lines the report has on the Scottish independence referendum, but I would include that in my general remarks about not being complacent about Russian interference", Sturgeon added.

More broadly, both the Scottish Tories and Labor's shadow Scottish secretary, Ian Murray, have called for an inquiry to determine the extent of (if any) of Russian interference in the September 2014 independence referendum.

But Scotland's First Minister was adamant that investigating the issue resides solely within the competence of the British intelligence community.

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