Angus Robertson demands Russian diplomats are expelled from Scotland

ANGUS Robertson has demanded that Russian diplomats are expelled from Scotland following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Scottish Government’s external affairs secretary urged the Prime Minister to remove Vladimir Putin’s officials in Edinburgh as he backed calls for the Russian Ambassador to the UK to be sent back to Moscow from London.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, wrote to Boris Johnson yesterday asking him to “kick out” Andrey Kelin, pictured below, immediately.


Speaking to the BBC on Sunday morning, Mr Robertson backed Mr Blackford’s demand and added that not only should the ambassador be expelled but Putin’s Scottish based officials too.

“I agree with Ian Blackford. The idea that we should have Russian diplomats in the UK supporting the Kremlin lies about the war in Ukraine is intolerable,” he said.

“This is not normal circumstances. This is not a time for normal diplomatic relations and the thing that Putin understands is power and the thing that Putin understands is people acting and reacting to what it is he is doing.”

He added: “So not only should the Russian ambassador be sent back to Russia to explain that the UK is not prepared to put up with what is going on but we have Russian diplomats based in Scotland. We have to ask ourselves ‘Why are these people here in support of Putin’s war in Ukraine?’ It’s intolerable.”

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Mr Blackford wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday to request the UK send Mr Kelin back to Russia with the clear message to Putin that his country is becoming a pariah state.

The SNP MP said: “Hour by hour the unfolding events in Ukraine become increasingly more desperate and disturbing and we must act without hesitation. Russia must face the full force of sanctions.

“While I welcome the measures imposed so far, the UK Government has not acted quickly enough or decisively enough. There is still more the UK must do – economically, diplomatically and culturally – including kicking out the Russian ambassador immediately.

“While working with the international community in imposing ever-tightening restrictions on Russia, it is imperative we send the strongest possible message that Putin’s act of war cannot and will not be tolerated.

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“The Russian ambassador’s continued presence on British soil is an insult to the people of the Ukraine. Allowing Putin’s puppet to remain in London on the premise of keeping open communications with Moscow is futile when Putin clearly is not ready to listen.

“Andrey Kelin must be despatched back to the Kremlin with the clear message that Russia will be reduced to an international pariah if he does not end his obscene warmongering.

“We must be united in the face of Putin’s aggression and the coordinated solidarity shown for Ukraine cannot waiver until Russian forces withdraw.”

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Russian consulate in Edinburgh on Thursday and Friday, voicing their outrage at the war.

A megaphone was passed around protesters, some sharing personal stories about relatives hiding in basements in Kyiv to avert shelling and gunfire, with others urging the Scottish Government and other European powers to do more.

People also wrote messages such as “I stand with Ukraine” in chalk on the pavement outside the consulate.

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