A spokesman for Alex Salmond has played down the Scottish First Minister's comment that he admired "certain aspects" of Vladimir Putin's leadership.
The spokesman pointed out that the interview, conducted by former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell for GQ magazine, took place before the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
"Since then, the Scottish Government has made our position abundantly clear on the illegal annexation, including the decision to withdraw the invitation to the Russian Consul General to the annual Scottish Consular Corps dinner," he said.
More top news
Donald Trump is set to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States but major questions still remain over his team.
Ana-Alecia Ayala became an internet sensation for her video showing her dancing and laughing through intensive chemo treatment.
In a week that has lurched from the bizarre to the surreal, we are now just a day away from one of the great rituals of American democracy.