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MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has described the outcome of Britain’s referendum regarding the country’s further membership of the European Union as an epoch-making decision that may reshape the whole world.
"It was a landmark event that may bring about fundamental world changes," Matviyenko said after a meeting with the speaker of the Belgian parliament’s Senate, Christine Defrain.
Matviyenko believes that the process of Britain’s walkout from the EU will be no easy and painful.
"It will take time. Experts say, at least 2-3 years will be needed to accomplish Britain’s civilized divorce with the European Union," she believes. "And, of course, there will be certain consequences - economic and other - for both the European Union and Britain," Matviyenko said, adding that in any case Russia would respect the choice of the British people.
"We are open and prepared for cooperation with Britain and the European Union," Matviyenko said.
In Thursday’s referendum the opponents of euro-integration (51.9%) outnumbered supporters (48.1%).
The referendum’s results are a recommendation. This means that theoretically the results of the voting may be presented for consideration to parliament, which may either agree with the opinion of the people or make the opposite decision. Calling another referendum is another possibility. Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday promised to act on the will of the British people, who voted for leaving the EU.