Scottish independence: Which countries are backing Alex Salmond and the Yes vote – and which aren't

Most countries remain nominally neutral on whether Scotland should elect for independence, but some have let their opinions slip

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The impact of this week’s Scottish independence vote will be wide-reaching and long-lasting, affecting everything from the global financial markets to other independence movements around the world.

While most countries have resisted declaring an opinion, many have pledged their allegiance to one side or the other.

States that vocally advocate for an independent Scotland have either an interest in seeing the dissolution of the union, or they hope that Scotland’s legitimate secession will help pave the way for action closer to home.

North Korea has emerged as perhaps the most unlikely supporter of the Yes campaign, with Kim Jong-un reportedly expressing a desire to trade with an independent Scotland.

Russia’s view on the matter is complicated, having recently facilitated a secessionist referendum in Crimea yet actively quashing independence movements in Chechnya and Georgia.

Although President Putin has steered clear of interjecting, members of the Russian parliament have taken to social media to support an independent Scotland. MP Konstantin Rykov changed his name on Twitter to McRykov, has photoshopped his face onto a Scotsman’s body, and has tweeted: “Scotland will be free.” Other high-profile supporters of Scottish independence are independence movements themselves.

Catalonia has fought for secession from Spain for a long time, and is holding up the Scottish referendum – and the rest of the UK’s acceptance of the vote – as champions of democracy.

Kurdistan, the largest stateless nation in the world, with its people spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, also supports the ‘Yes’ vote.


And over in the US, the Texas Nationalist Movement says Scotland's independence would be an example of secession done right.

The Better Together campaign has called upon some of the UK's closest allies to declare support for a No vote. US President Barack Obama has said he would prefer to see Scotland opt to keep alive the union. Earlier this summer he called on Britain to remain “a strong, robust, united and effective partner".

Commonwealth countries Australia and India are also in favour of keeping the UK together. Last month the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said: “It’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.”

And, although she backtracked after speaking with her aide, India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said: “Break-up of the United Kingdom? I don’t think there’s any possibility of that. God forbid!”

China has said that a Yes vote would leave the UK a “second-rate” country. David Cameron would go down a “sinner of history,” said the Global Times. China's Premier, Li Keqiang, has also voiced support for a “strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom.”

Spain, with Catalonia firmly in its mind, has actively fought against Scotland’s secession. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said an independent Scotland should not be given easy access to the EU, and that it should only apply to join the organisation as a new state to deter other “solo adventures.”

And as for the Vatican? The Pope came out against an independent Scotland earlier this summer. He told La Vanguardia that “One has to take the secession of a nation with a grain of salt.”