24 Oct, 2016
Relations between the United Kingdom and Russia, which are engulfed in media scandals, sanctions threats, and fears about a new world war, have hit a new low recently, but is there room left for cooperation on the most important international issues? And, with Britain already divided over how to deal with the coming Brexit, can it stay united on the diplomatic front? Scotland’s former first minister, UK MP, and SNP international affairs spokesman – Alex Salmond – is on SophieCo today.
Sophie Shevardnadze: Former First Minister of Scotland, the SNP International Affairs spokesman and member of the UK Parliament, Alex Salmond, welcome to the show. The Russian embassy in London says people are writing to them asking not to start World War Three. sensationalist press like the Sun or the Express have reported that Russia is getting ready for a nuclear conflict, with British politicians, like Andrew Mitchell, comparing Russians with the Nazis – why flare up all this hysteria? Whose interests does that serve?
Alex Salmond: I think this is very much a time for cool heads and not getting swept up in hysteria It wouldn’t serve anyone’s interests. I think emotions have been running high, to be fair to Andrew Mitchell about Aleppo and particularly the pictures of civilian deaths in Aleppo, the Syrian conflict is causing a great deal of this, there’s way more concerns as well, but this is very much a time for trying to get agreement, to reinforce a ceasefire and try and get people talking or, to use a Second World War analogy, it’s time for “jaw-jaw” rather than “war-war”.