Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Sir Menzies Campbell has said the First Minister’s comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin reflect a disturbing lack of judgement. In an interview for GQ magazine, First Minister Alex Salmond said he admired “certain aspects” of Vladimir Putin’s leadership.
This follows from previous poor judgements where the First Minister labelled the NATO attack on Kosovo as an “unpardonable folly” and also courted the Chinese government over the Dalai Lama’s visit.
Sir Menzies Campbell said:
“I am afraid to say that Mr Salmond’s admiration for “certain aspects” of Vladimir Putin’s leadership reflects a disturbing lack of judgement. The explanation that this was before recent events in Ukraine is wholly unconvincing. Mr Putin’s disregard for human rights, his tolerance of homophobia and his territorial ambitions have been well known for a long time. They are clear illustrations of the kind of leadership he offers. President Assad has benefitted from Mr Putin’s unequivocal support and ordinary Syrians, particularly women and children, have paid a terrible price.
“The sad truth is that Russia’s unacceptable behaviour over the Crimea and now eastern Ukraine has come as no surprise. The First Minister should avoid judgements for which he is clearly unqualified.”