In an interview with the BBC while in Ukraine, John says he wants to meet Putin to discuss gay rights. Discussing how Putin has said that gays target children:
Give me a break. You are President of Russia, and you go and say stupid things like that?..I would like to meet [Putin]…It’s probably pie in the sky… He may laugh behind my back when he shuts the door, and call me an absolute idiot, but at least I can think I have the conscience to say I tried.
Salmond discusses the referendum with Alastair Campbell for GQ. Asked if he considers himself a historic figure:
I prefer modern studies to history.
He says the Yes campaign is trying to dismiss ‘unreasonable’ fears about the outcome of independence, and that keeping the pound is the most likely scenario for an independent Scotland, drinking culture in Scotland, and whether Spain and other opponents of independence can keep the country out of the EU. His general view on Putin:
Well, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but he is more effective than most and you can see why he carries support in Russia.
On whether he ‘admires’ Putin:
Certain aspects. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are difficult to admire.
He also discusses whether the Iraq War was illegal and former Prime Minister Blair a war criminal, Kosovo, Syria and Afghanistan. The leader he admires most is German Chancellor Merkel, and he admires Obama’s campaigns but says he should be effective despite running a minority government.