Media has made public the information that the British Prime Minister David Cameron appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “help the UK to cope with Scotland”.
Recall that on October 15, 2012 Cameron and Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond signed an agreement to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. Scots struggle for sovereignty is primarily due to the economic interests. Most of the UK’s energy resources are concentrated in Scotland and in its adjacent sea areas. And amid the continuing crisis in Europe, those willing to “stop feeding London” are becoming more in number.
It is 2014 now and it is time to make a specific decision on this issue. As you know, this year Russia is chairing the Council of G-8, so that it becomes clear why the British prime minister is trying to enlist the support of Putin. It is clear that ‘Grand Master Cameron’ as he is called by Western media, wants to get support of a powerful ally in the political arena such as the Russian president, whose authority in recent years has become increasingly impressive thanks in large part to his success on issues such as Iran and Syria.
The fact of the matter is, and this is confirmed by foreign political scientists, that Vladimir Putin at the moment is no longer one of the figures in the British game. Now he has become one of the leading players, and has sufficient authority to be able either to give support or deny it where it is beneficial to Russia.
According to the Russian president, the most correct and democratic solution in this situation would be the non-interference in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom. Commenting on his talks with British Prime Minister, Putin mentioned that “being part of the single state has certain advantages”, but also added for a joke that in prospect he is ready to accept the independent Edinburgh to the Customs Union. Nobody questions Vladimir Putin’s sense of humor but there is a shard of truth in every joke.
It is noteworthy that earlier Cameron had held talks with the official Madrid, where the parties condemned the Scottish people’s desire to gain if not particularly independence then at least greater autonomy, hinting that the “independent Edinburgh has no place in the EU”. During the meeting, the parties signed the so-called ‘anti-separatist pact”. This behavior of Madrid is quite understandable - the similar situation is now about to happen in Spain itself. Catalonia, one of the most prosperous Spanish autonomies, has repeatedly stated its desire to gain independence, not wanting to have anything to do with Europe’s ‘economic anchor’ - Spain.
In general, it can be said that the recent economic crisis has sharply raised the question of self-determination of the economically more successful provinces and autonomous in other European countries too. In addition to Scotland, not wanting to sponsor the backward mother country using its resources, similar processes are observed in Belgium, Italy, France and Poland.
British parliamentarians, commenting on the conduct of the referendum, call the Scots ‘separatists’ comparing them with the irreconcilable Basques and Catalans. The Scottish authorities besides gaining full independence also consider an option of receiving a greater autonomy and economic benefits, i.e. the ‘maximum power transfer’ to local authorities by the mother country.
Even if London has a wealth of experience on the separation of other countries, in this situation, it is likely to remain powerless. Let us recall Yugoslavia – wasn’t it the same UK that as part of NATO helped to divide the country into pieces? Now the history can play Old Harry with the British, reminding them of the ‘unique case’ in Kosovo and ‘the rights of peoples to self-determination’.
A real possibility for Westminster is to either democratically ‘let the Scots go’ or try to keep them. Implications of the second options can be still seen in Ireland, a country divided into two opposing camps as a result of similar attempts to gain independence.
Acting as Washington’s ally in ‘resolving’ the Iranian, Syrian, Korean and other issues, it would be much more appropriate for the UK to shift the focus from foreign policy issues to its own, internal ones. There may be no longer any ‘alarm bells’ more dangerous than the referendum in Scotland.
It seems that the process of national fragmentation against more vulnerable neighbors, once launched by European hegemony, is turning back. And we may become historical contemporaries of ‘the Balkanization of Europe’ – subdividing it into smaller states with its own proper hands.