Scotland voted against leaving the United Kingdom Thursday. The vote wasn’t even that close — 55-45 voted for Scotland to reject going its own way.
But the Russians showed up and are behaving boorishly, according to the Guardian.
Russia has said the conduct of the Scottish referendum “did not meet international standards”, with its observers complaining the count took place in rooms that were too big and that the procedure was badly flawed.
In an apparent attempt to mirror persistent western criticism of Russia’s own elections, Igor Borisov – an accredited observer – said the poll failed to meet basic international norms.
Among their objections, the room where votes were counted was too big.
He said the room where he watched the count on Thursday night was a cavernous “aircraft hangar” next to an airfield. It was difficult to see what was going on, he said, adding: “The hangar is approximately 100m by 300m. There are tables, with voting papers stacked upon them, but the observers are stuck around the perimeter. Even if you want to, it’s impossible to tell what’s happening. It’s also unclear where the boxes with ballot papers come from.”
Borisov said the US state department, the UK and other western countries loudly hectored the Kremlin about Russia’s supposed democratic deficiencies. But in this instance, he said, London and Edinburgh had not “fully met” the requirements of a proper referendum.
“Nobody was interested in who was bringing in the voting slips. There were no stamps or signatures as the bulletins were handed over,” he said.
The Russians wanted Scotland to vote for independence. Evidently they saw that as somehow justifying their annexation and fake vote in Crimea this past spring.
That, plus the fact that Scotland National Party leader Alex Salmond, leader of the independence movement, admires Russia’s Vladimir Putin a little bit. So an independent Scotland might have become friendly to the Russians, right on the rest of the United Kingdom’s doorstep.