NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that by leaving the UK, Scotland would also have to leave NATO. He added that the UK would remain a member even if Scotland leaves it.
Scotland, once it leaves the UK, would have to apply as a new member. For an independent Scotland to be accepted as a new member of NATO, its application has to be approved by 28 nation-members.
A new Scotland may be able to meet the requirements for membership in NATO, but Stoltenberg said that the application process may take a number of years to complete.
Stoltenberg gave his comments only hours after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her wish to hold another vote for Scotland to leave the UK. Scotland also held a vote in 2014 but more citizens voted for Scotland to remain in the UK.
Stoltenberg said Scotland would seek to join NATO should the country decide to finally leave the UK.
It is for NATO's good that an independent Scotland becomes its member. NATO needs Scotland very much because of the military bases in Scotland.
At present, UK's nuclear submarines are located in Scotland. Should Scotland leave the UK, the UK would probably not allow the submarines to remain in Scotland. Relocating the nuclear submarines will be an expensive process for the UK.
Another source of conflict is the fact that Scotland is against nuclear weapons. NATO is, however, basically a nuclear alliance among powerful countries with nuclear arms.