Britain’s Failure to Handle Russian Dirty Money Enabled Putin’s Aggression | Nicola Sturgeon

Prospect The war in our continent More than enough to take our eyes off the government’s recent problems.

However, the Prime Minister who has found it so difficult to tell the truth throughout his career surprised us with a hard dose of it when he stood before Parliament last week to address the situation in Ukraine“Ukraine asks for nothing but to be allowed to live in peace and to seek its own alliances, which every sovereign state has the right to do,” she said. It was a sentiment echoed by the leader of the opposition, the leader of the Westminster group in my party, Ian Blackford, and every other SNP MP who responded to the statement.

As someone who has spent my life campaigning for the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine our future, sovereignty is a fundamental principle of my worldview. Seeing such pressures exerted on a country that has firmly set itself on the path of integration with the liberal democratic system is indescribable. Like any European country, Ukraine should be free to organize its governance and security alliances as it sees fit.

The division of Europe into “spheres of influence” in the nineteenth century is not an area in which small independent countries thrive. The richer and more egalitarian the countries of Europe become, the more equitable the relations between them will be. Indeed, the great strides taken by the likes of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the past 30 years are a testament to the energetic effects of independence in Europe.

However, my agreement with the Prime Minister on these principles was short-lived: question after question from the House of Commons brought him back to the case. Russian Finance in the Conservative Partyand the continued existence of Lundongrad-style influence operations in the UK. Meanwhile, as long as the fortunes of Russia’s elites are stationed abroad, threats of economic sanctions are weak and ineffective.

It’s been two and a half years since I posted Russian parliament reportWhich exposed the extent of the links between the Kremlin and Russian-backed financial interests – and the resulting endless flows of illicit cash through the City of London. Allies of the United Kingdom began to notice the difficulty of resolving the problem. A report by the Center for American Progress – a think-tank close to the Biden administration – said last week that “uprooting the oligarchy linked to the Kremlin will be challenging given the close ties between Russian money and the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, the press, and the real estate and financial industries”.

After all, clear mechanisms exist to suppress these practices. My Westminster government has long called for legislation regarding the improper use of Scottish Limited Partnerships – just a favorite tool of financial manipulation – to ensure that it is no longer used to facilitate the kind of financial corruption that has benefited autocrats and their wealthy friends for far too long.

Corruption and lack of transparency are a burden on liberal democracy, and autocrats have become adept at using these scandals as a way to tell people they prove that all forms of government are one, and that all politicians are just as bad as each other.

And so I can just call on the Prime Minister to finally take action. He must realize that his government and his party have made this situation possible, and he must admit that the most resolute action he can take is at home, to rebuild the reputation of his shattered government. Quote from writer and journalist Oliver Polo From his book, Moneyland, which has documented a lot about the “laundry” in London: “Without trust, liberal democracy cannot function.” As Bullough recently wrote of the situation in Ukraine: “No one can blame us more for the fact that Russia’s richest people can treat war as a spectator sport.”

While the temptation in such periods is to focus on individuals in power, this can lead us to forget the role of the competing factions within the Russian security state and the pressures they put on the situation, and may lead some to be forgotten. This pressure is putting 40 million Ukrainians – our European citizens – going about their daily lives.

In some ways, this is a reality that many have been dealing with since 2014, particularly in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine. As we deal with the effects of our cost-of-living crisis, with rising food and energy prices, it is worth remembering that Ukrainians have been facing this for some time, as a direct result of the actions of the Russian government.

Therefore, while Ukrainians must and will defend themselves against aggression if attempts at diplomacy fail, we cannot ignore the circumstances that led to the current crisis, and this includes the situation in which wealth with direct links to the Putin regime has been allowed to proliferate. Here in the UK, with little regard for its origin or the influence it seeks to exert on our democracy.

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