Announcing his invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin warned that anyone who attempts to stand in Russia’s way would suffer “such consequences that you have never encountered in your history”.
Just days later, the President ordered his military to put Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert. Rising fears of a World War 3 – one that threatens to feature the use of nuclear weapons – has pushed many world leaders into doubling down on the need to show off their deterrence capabilities.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was quick to respond to Putin that “the Atlantic alliance [NATO] is a nuclear alliance”. For Ian Blackford, however, the rise in global tensions appears only to have reconfirmed his commitment to removing Trident.
The SNP Westminster leader said his position had not changed because he doesn’t believe Trident deters escalation in the first place.
He said: “The idea that having nuclear weapons provides a deterrence that removes that threat is far-fetched, to say the least.”
Mr Blackford added even a Scotland outside the UK would continue to rely on world organisations with nuclear capabilities, including NATO.
“The SNP Scottish Government is very clear that an independent Scotland, among other things, would seek to be a member of NATO.
“We would be alongside our friends or partners in the Western world, and we would want to make sure that we’re taking our responsibilities for defence and security just as any other independent country does.”