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Russian authorities do not make predictions on Brexit impact — official

June 18, 16:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The UK is due to hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU on June 23
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MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Effects of the United Kingdom possible exiting the European Union could be positive or negative, Russia is interested in a strong partner, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on Saturday.

"European experts are better judges of this, not us. I think they are more familiar with the situation. Some say that there will be positive effects, some - on the contrary. Negative - for the most part for the UK. The country’s citizens have to decide. Of course, there are risks either way. We, in any case, need a strong partner, strong Europe. The President said it yesterday very clearly," he said.

Presidential aide Andrey Belousov told journalists on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2016) the United Kingdom exiting the European Union will affect not only the Union, but also Russia. As the exit, if it happens, would have systematic implications for not only the European Union, but also trade within the Union. According to him, since the EU is Russia’s closest neighbor, despite the sanctions, the shifts in the EU would also quite tangible for Russia.

Belousov recalled that nearly 13,000 companies from the EU countries operate in Russia, that "are working, despite the sanctions, nobody is not going anywhere," he added.

The Central Bank Head Elvira Nabiullina told journalists on Friday, the possible Brexit would not directly affect the Russian economy, but there are indirect risks, since the EU is one of Russia’s largest trading partners.

According to Nabiullina, in particular, increased turbulence in global markets is possible - it could affect the dynamics of commodities markets, However, Nabiullina believes these risks will not be direct and significant enough for the Russian economy.

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.

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