ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. The United Kingdom exiting the European Union will affect not only the Union, but also Russia, presidential aide Andrei Belousov told journalists on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2016).
"The exit, if it happens, would have systematic implications for the European Union, for the situation of trade within the Union. Since the EU is our closest neighbor, despite the sanctions, and well-known complications, we have very close ties ... These tectonic shifts in the EU are also quite tangible for us," he said.
Belousov recalled that nearly 13,000 companies from the EU countries operate in Russia. "They are working, despite the sanctions, nobody is not going anywhere," he added.
The UK is due to hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU on June 23. It will be the third nationwide plebiscite in the country’s history. In 1975, the British voters backed the UK’s membership in the European Economic Community (EEC). In 2011, a vote was held on changing the country’s voting system.