A former leader of Edinburgh city council has joined calls for the Russian news service Sputnik to be expelled from the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The multi-media arm of Rossiya Segodnya, known as Russia Today, was recently admitted as a member of the organisation. However, the move has been branded “disappointing” by former council chief Donald Anderson, who called for their association with the body to be revoked.
It came after Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton filed a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for an industry-wide review of broadcast licences granted to state owned news networks. Sputnik UK has been operating out of the Exchange Tower in Edinburgh’s West End for two years.
Mr Anderson, who led the city between 1999 and 2006, said: “The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce are an organisation set up to promote our society and our democracy, so it is really disappointing to see them give membership to an organisation which is effectively a propaganda machine for the Russian state.”
He added: “I think given the recent tragic events in Salisbury, I can’t see how the chamber can continue to allow Sputnik to be members of the organisation.”
No-one from the chamber wished to comment.
Meanwhile, The Russian Consul General in the Capital was among the list of diplomats earmarked by UK intelligence services for possible expulsion a year ago.
Audrey Pritsepov, was on a MI5 list in 2008 while he was an aide to the Russian ambassador in London.