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Kremlin says EU's turbulence not analogy to Soviet Union’s collapse

June 27, 12:57 UTC+3
The Kremlin spokesman says Russia calls for reviving relations with the UK whatever decision London takes on its membership in the EU
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© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. The Kremlin believes that the outcome of Britain’s referendum in favor of secession from the European Union indicates that the EU is entering turbulent times, but it would be wrong to draw parallels with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"Many remember that time of uncertainty when the Soviet Union broke up. It would be unreasonable to draw parallels, but a period of turbulence, uncertainty and unpredictability is a hard fact. We all know that such periods do happen in the history of different states," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.

He pointed out that Russia was interested in a "stable, booming and predictable European space prepared for cooperation with Russia."

Russia calls for restoring ties with the UK

According to Peskov, Russia calls for reviving relations with the UK whatever decision London takes on its membership in the EU.

"Will the UK be part of the EU or not, this does not rule out the bilateral dimension of our relations. We traditionally call for reanimating our relations and reviving ties in those areas where the Britons rolled them back," Peskov said.

The EU was and remains Russia’s key trade and economic partner and despite all differences Moscow will further focus on building good mutually beneficial ties with Brussels and EU member-states separately, he added.

Peskov also said it is early to speak if Russia plans to sign a separate agreement on trade and economic cooperation with the UK in case if it leaves the EU.

He reminded that President Vladimir Putin said that financial consequences of Brexit were already felt and Russia was watching this closely.

In this situation, "there are more questions than answers," and this refers to both Russia and the EU, and the Britons themselves, Peskov added.

Forecasts on whether the UK leaves the EU

Peskov went on to say that the Kremlin does not make forecasts on whether the UK will in the long run leave the EU after Brexit but "registers in cool blood" contradictory statements on this matter.

"We do not admit anything, it is none of our business," he said when asked whether the Kremlin admits that the UK will eventually withdraw from the EU. Peskov recalled the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that such decisions and their discussion with Brussels are the absolute prerogative of Britons themselves. "Russia has no intention of interfering and indicating its involvement in any way. That’s out of the question," the Kremlin spokesman said.

"We just ‘register in cool blood’ the statements and decisions currently made in Scotland, various campaigns to collect signatures and so on, we register the statements made in UK parliament, which are quite contradictory, and, based on this, we say that so far the situation is incomprehensible and unpredictable, " Peskov said.

In Britain’s June 23 referendum the opponents of euro-integration gained the upper hand: 51.9% of British voters said they would like the country to leave the EU, while 48.1% said Britain should remain an EU member.

The referendum’s outcome is a recommendation. Theoretically, the results may be submitted to parliament for consideration. The legislators may either agree with the popular opinion or make the opposite decision. Also, calling another referendum is a possibility.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to act on the will of the British people, who said they would like to leave the EU.

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