Ukraine-Russia war: Scotland, independent or not, needs to be there for its friends in Europe – Angus Robertson MSP
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The continent is united in its opposition to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, with many doing the unthinkable to help. Germany has agreed to provide military exports to Kyiv and to raise its defence spending to two per cent of GDP. It is a tectonic shift in Germany’s post-World War consensus.
In an equally significant move, neutral Switzerland has signed up to the European Union sanctions, while both Sweden and Finland, which are non-Nato members, are providing significant military assistance to Ukraine.
Finland’s shipment includes 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 bullets, 1,500 anti-tank weapons and 70,000 food packages. Sweden is sending 5,000 anti-tank weapons, which compares to the 2,000 the UK has sent.
The European Union is providing a 450 million-euro package of lethal arms support through its European Peace Facility (EPF). It is the first time the EU has ever approved the supply of lethal weapons to a third country.
Meanwhile, Denmark which is now considering its defence opt-outs with the European Union and Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are seeking to join the bloc, which provides mutual defence safeguards.
Countries that neighbour Russia are understandably concerned about the Kremlin aggression and Putin’s ambitions which seek to restore Imperial Russian and Soviet control.
Whether as part of the United Kingdom or as an independent country, Scotland needs to be there for our European friends in central and eastern Europe.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary