SNP ministers have pledged to end all overseas trade support and promotional activities "solely focused" on fossil fuels this year.

Trade minister Ivan McKee said support would be axed by the time the COP26 climate summit takes place in Glasgow in November.

The Scottish Tories raised concerns the move would come as a "hammer blow" to the north-east.

READ MORE: North Sea leaders say oil and gas industry centred on Aberdeen faces tough year

It came as Mr McKee published a new blueprint for how Scotland will do business around the globe. 

The document sets out five principles to guide decisions on international trade: inclusive growth, wellbeing, sustainability, net-zero and good governance.

SNP ministers also called on the UK Government to protect the NHS "from any risk of enforced privatisation, competition or fragmentation in trade agreements", as well as making compliance with fundamental human rights and the Paris Climate Agreement "absolute limits" for the initiation of trade negotiations. 

Elsewhere, the new blueprint says: "In line with our Programme for Government commitment, we will ensure that our trade support for the oil and gas sector will be conditional on the support assisting the sustainable energy transition and will end all Scottish Government overseas trade support and promotion activities solely focused on fossil fuel goods and services by COP26."

Speaking in Holyrood, Scottish Tory MSP Maurice Golden said this would cause uncertainty in the sector. 

He said his party believes Scotland can reach net-zero "while protecting jobs and ensuring no community is left behind".

He said: "The SNP will be delivering a hammer blow to the north-east and wider Scotland with this approach.

"Will the minister clarify his comments and explain exactly what the impact of this commitment will be for North Sea oil and gas?"

READ MORE: North Sea oil and gas in peril as students turn away from 'dirty' subject

Mr McKee called the question "very strange", adding that if Mr Golden is "serious about net-zero then he needs to be serious about the transition".

He said: "It's quite clear that the Conservatives, based on that statement, clearly aren't."

Mr McKee said ministers are working with the sector to clarify any issues.

Scotland is seeking to cut its carbon emissions to net-zero by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the UK.

The COP26 summit in November will bring together heads of state from around the world to discuss climate change.