Ukraine crisis: Alister Jack brands Nicola Sturgeon no-fly zone comment 'utterly irresponsible'

Alister Jack said Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Nato should keep an open mind about enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine was “utterly irresponsible”.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Nato should keep an open mind about enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine was “utterly irresponsible” (Photo: Aaron Chown/ PA).
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Nato should keep an open mind about enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine was “utterly irresponsible” (Photo: Aaron Chown/ PA).

In an interview with ITV Border, the First Minister said “the West has to keep its mind open” when she was asked about whether Nato should introduce a no-fly zone.

Yet, the Scottish Secretary said there was “absolutely no way” the UK Government would “get involved” in a no-fly zone.

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Dismissing the First Minister’s comments, Mr Jack said “luckily this is a decision for the UK Government”.

He told ITV Border on Thursday: “I thought that remark was utterly responsible to be clear and very naive.

"A no-fly zone is not on the table.

"Cabinet was briefed by the chief of the defence staff on Tuesday morning, we listened to what he had to say about that. We take our lead from the Prime Minister and the secretary of state for defence but absolutely in no way would we get involved in a no fly-zone.”

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The First Minister said she “shares concerns” enforcing a no-fly zone could lead to a direct military confrontation between Nato and Russia.

However, she said Russian President Vladimir Putin was not acting in “any way rationally or defensively”.

Former first minister Alex Salmond also condemned her comments, accusing her of “contemplating direct armed conflict between nuclear powers”.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said no allies were considering the measure to help repel the Russian invasion as it would involve “shooting down Russian planes”.

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