I notice that Alex Salmond is trying to muddy the waters over the undignified and cynical reversal of SNP Nato policy by quoting from the Nato-Russia Founding Act ("SNP reveals plans for policy switch on Nato", The Herald, July 17).

The quotation has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland seceding from the UK; the guarantee he speaks of applied to the former communist countries.

SNP activists, before jumping on this new pro-Nato bandwagon, should look at the Nato Strategic Concept agreed at the recent Chicago summit which would be binding on a separate Scottish state.

On the nuclear weapons issue, paragraphs 17, 18 and 19 say the following:

"Deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy. The circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated are extremely remote. As long as nuclear weapons exist, Nato will remain a nuclear alliance.

The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.

We will ensure that Nato has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of our populations. Therefore we will maintain an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces."

Since the motion proposed for the SNP conference explicitly says: "Scotland will inherit its treaty obligations with Nato", either there has been a complete and welcome conversion of the SNP leadership on the issue of Nato or they are simply, once again, trying cynically to get rid of a very inconvenient and electorally poisonous policy position. I'm sure the electorate will not take long to spot which is the case.

George Robertson, Former Secretary General, Nato, House of Lords.