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Russia bets on Alba party to win Scottish parliamentary elections and weaken the UK

In advance of the Scotland’€™s parliamentary elections – which are to be held on the 6th of May – the former leader of Scottish National Party (SNP), and the former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond announced the creation of a new pro-independence party to run for the election and reach political supermajority in order to break away from the rest of Britain.

129 members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are to be elected. The party that wins the most seats will form the Scottish government. In the wake of the decisive event, the formation of a new party could have considerable impact on the outcome of the whole campaign, IGTDS reports.

Alex Salmond claimed that his new Alba party will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list-only party under his leadership. It was reported that the party had been founded in January, 2021, by former TV producer Laurie Flynn, and, on February, 8, it was registered by the Electoral Commission.

As Alba’€s website informs, if the party should get around half of the SNP’s list vote it would result in 20-25 Alba’€™s MSPs. The idea is to secure a parliamentary ‘supermajority’€™ for independence “in the region of +40, rather than the +5 which was achieved in 2016”.

The foundation of Alba seems to be deliberate attempt to undermine the sovereignty of the UK from inside. Not accidentally, the Alba party has been created when the UK-Russia relations has worsened. On March 16, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Russia as Britain’€™s top security challenge.

This claims were first stated in the report on Russia from parliament’€™s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), published in summer, 2020, and unmasking Russia’€™s meddling in 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Regarding the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the committee concluded that “€œit was the first post-Soviet Russian interference in a Western democratic process”€.

Moscow seeks to support all foreign projects targeted at the weakening and decentralizing the states that the Kremlin sees as its opponents. The Kremlin seeks to embarrass the UK and other NATO key allies. Therefore, the creation of separatist political party, Alex Salmond’s Alba, in advance of the elections is Russia’s political project.

Just to mention that Alex Salmond was previously compromised by the ties with Russia which nobody of his colleagues could approve. He said he had been hired to host a show on RT (Russia Today) -€“ Russian media outlet widely blamed of spreading propaganda, banned by Latvia and Lithuania, and by the UK during its conference on media freedom held in London for playing an “€œactive role in spreading disinformation”€.

RT’s signing of Salmond came after its partner outlet Sputnik had opened its UK headquarters in Edinburgh, rather than London. Thus, RT’€™s enlargement was driven by the situation in Scotland. Some staffers and many contributors at both Russian outlets have been vocal supporters of Scottish independence, rather than the SNP.

Alex Salmond and the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon -€“ also, a leader of SNP – used to be close friends and allies, however, until Salmond was blamed of sexual harassment towards several women. A new Alba party criticizes Nicola Sturgeon for the absence of ‘€˜plan€™ to B’ to hold the second independence referendum. Therefore, Alba’€™s policy is likely to try to use street protests or economic pressure on British government to force London to schedule a new referendum on independence. Nicola Sturgeon, by contrast, wants any future independence vote to be compliant with democratic standards and to be acknowledged from both – a domestic and international – perspectives.

Alex Salmond is likely to want to drag votes of the nationalist ‘€˜fundamentalists’€™ within the Nicola Sturgeon’€™s party for Alba, because ‘fundamentalism’€™ can be seen as the shortest way to independence. Despite the fact that Salmond himself shared Sturgeon’€™s ‘€˜gradualist’€™ views, the party’€™s ‘€˜fundamentalists’€™ has grown closer to the former SNP’s leader over the course of his stand-off with Sturgeon. Therefore, there are warnings that Salmond’s party, backed by the Kremlin, will use force and undemocratic actions to gain their goals.

The SNP’€™s distancing from Russia’s geopolitical claims requires the Kremlin to nourish alternative project that will be loyal to Russia. Alex Salmond is the best candidate to lead such a project, and not least as he has his own audience among viewers of Russian propaganda media outlets broadcasting in Scotland.

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