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    Keep Calm and Carry On: Why Kremlin Staying Cool Amid Brexit Fuss

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    Instead of accusing Russia of having a hand in the British "Leave" campaign, Eurocrats and their Washington backers should look in the mirror in the first place, French journalist Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein believes.

    Following the Brexit vote voices have emerged in the West claiming that Moscow could have had a hand in the British "Leave" campaign; the absurdity of those claims is obvious, however, some Western media have not given up and are accusing Russia of being "jubilant" over Britain's potential withdrawal from the EU.

    "There is no doubt that Moscow was hoping for Britain to leave the European Union," Mark Galeotti of Vox.com wrote Tuesday, "Its propaganda channels such as RT eagerly championed the "Leave" case, and following the narrow but clear vote in the UK to leave the EU, Russian newspapers and commentators were jubilant."

    Admitting that "there is no evidence of any meaningful Russian impact on Brexit," Galeotti claims that the Kremlin's "calculation" is that the Brexit would weaken the EU and lead to a "relaxation of the sanctions regime" against Moscow.

    In fact, Galeotti has repeated British Prime Minister David Cameron's earlier allegations that Moscow is somehow "interested" in Britain's withdrawal from the European bloc.

    However, these claims bear no relation to reality.

    During a Tuesday press briefing in Moscow Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that the Russian stance on the Brexit vote is crystal clear: the UK's EU referendum is an internal affair of Great Britain.

    "As for results and consequences — this decision hasn't been formalized. What should be done — we should wait until the public decision will be formalized by the British government. Only after that can we speak about the Russian reaction. As far as we understand, this decision will affect the European Union. In any case, we are for the development of cooperation with the EU and United Kingdom," Zakharova emphasized.

    Moscow does not believe that Brexit will influence the EU sanctions policy toward Russia.

    According to Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov, it is unlikely that Brussels would change its stance on the EU sanctions against Russia in the event of Britain's departure.

    "There are no expectations. I don't believe that this position will change," Chizhov told Sputnik, echoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement made at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Tashkent last week.

    At the same time, the Kremlin does not demonstrate any signs of excitement over the potential consequences of Britain's referendum.

    "We note the statements that come from the British Parliament. They are very mixed, that is why based on this, we say that the situation is yet unclear and unpredictable," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday.

    Moscow envisages that Britain's potential withdrawal would obviously affect global markets and may have a short-term negative impact on Russia's economy. However, regardless of Britain's decision on whether or not to leave the EU, Russia aims to develop its relations with both the European bloc and the UK.

    "Russia will concentrate on building good, mutually beneficial relations with the European Union — while preserving all differences [within the EU] — and with member states of the European Union separately," Peskov underscored.

    Commenting on the issue, French journalist Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein of Boulevard Voltaire called attention to the fact that in contrast to Washington and Berlin, Russia has never interfered in Britain's domestic affairs.

    "From the height of his arrogance and Russophobia that has put down its roots in Europe under Washington's influence, David Cameron claimed that President Putin "might be happy" with Brexit. By this remark he purportedly wanted to scare Britons. However, that had not worked. While Obama allowed himself to interfere in Britain's affairs, and Merkel threatened the English, Putin did nothing of the kind. One might wonder on whose side is democracy today?" the journalist asked.

    Von Hessen am Rhein quoted the Russian leader who stressed that Moscow did not interfere in the UK's referendum, did not try to influence the process and never discussed the issue.

    "Prior to the vote in the United Kingdom and after the vote, I have already said that we have never interfered, never discussed this, we acted very properly in my opinion. Of course, we closely followed what was going on, but did not influence this process and did not even attempt to do so," Putin stated at the SCO summit in Tashkent.

    "Statements made by the UK Prime Minister Mr. Cameron, before this plebiscite, before this referendum, on Russia's stance, have no basis and never have," the Russian President underscored.

    According to the French journalist, Eurocrats and their backers should take a glance in the mirror before accusing Russia of influencing the results of the recent British referendum.

    She believes that Putin has just nailed it when he linked the Brexit vote with the excessively high concentration of power within the administrative body of the EU and compared the European Parliament with the High Council of the USSR.  

    "The percentage of mandatory decisions made by the European Parliament is larger than that of mandatory decisions made by the High Council of the USSR in regard to its member-republics. This means that the powers are highly concentrated within [the administrative body of the EU]," Putin underscored, adding that the referendum indicated that Britons are not satisfied with the EU-led dissolving of national borders. 

    Related:

    Russia Notes Contradictions in UK Post-Brexit, Declines to Interfere
    Russia Continues Calls for Closer Ties With UK Despite Brexit Vote
    No Need to Compare Brexit With Fall of Soviet Union
    Tags:
    Brexit, Britain's EU referendum, European Union, Maria Zakharova, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, David Cameron, United States, Russia, United Kingdom
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    • avatar
      Angus Gallagher
      President Putin is right, absolutely right- we can't let the EU, Trotskyite fanatics, get control of our borders. They're the last people on earth you could trust with that mission. Putin is saying exactly what EU socialists and western intellectuals are terrified of admitting- that the days when big business and eurosocialists could rely on mass migration to support their power model is all but over.
      Pro Leave? Where's the evidence the Russian media is Pro-Leave? There are plenty of Remain-orientated articles on Sputnik and the trendier RT, which is aimed at minorities and younger Britons, could be any other mildly pro-EU mainstream channel. So the bias just isn't there. Leavers who come to Sputnik find an eclectic mix of opinions and have learned to take the rough with the smooth, just like with any other centrist media. Actually, centrism is the best place to be, that's where we ought to be, but CNN with Christianne Amanpour became a pro-migrant EU mouthpiece, just like the BBC, and France24. That's where the bias is not to mention the elitist contempt for British democracy and national sovereignty.
      President Putin never got involved with our internal affairs and Nigel Farage thanked him personally for his statesmanship and sense of fair play. But the referendum's over now and no force on this earth has the right to stop President Putin addressing the British people any time he wants. We all know that if Mr. Putin appealed to British patriots and euroskeptics- the shattered British political establishment would find a rallying call: not out of the conviction that President Putin was wrong, but out of a mortal fear that millions of British people would say-'this true Russian leader is right on every level.'
    • avatar
      kooka
      Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein - what a funny nickname. Perhaps only for me as I live in Hessen about 200m away from the Rhine but my given name is not Hildegard.
      I am already fed up with that hype in german press about the brexit. My conclusion is clear that brexit will never hapoen, not in one, 2 or even 20 years. The consequences will be - and "elites" are already starting with their work - more centralisation, less rights for citizens, more surveillance and more german hegemony.
    • Bert Metellus
      Putin is right to come down with at least some comparisons to old USSR. I can almost sense that younger Western generations get taught in schools that profound democratic constitutional settings like sovereignty of the people or powersharing are superfluous - even an obstacle - when it comes to "higher norms" that have to be pursued. That lie is the secret of the EU isn´t it, like it was the secret of USSR. I know that kind of talking because in our former Soviet educational system we have been told that same stuff again and again, and it leads to nowhere. They just do that to secure an ideology that still doesn´t hold up to reality anymore. And they say, you don´t need to decide about it, because it´s so good in itself, that it is out of reach of you dumbsters, you don´t need to understand the details, you just have to "believe" in the system... that´s what the party does want from you -- and you do it and its wrong.
      Today the Americans are the key. There must be a peaceful way to show them the exit, off the continent, once and for all, and not only NATO but even EU will almost instantly disappear, which is my hope. Nobody honestly can believe that they need to be around for another say 800 years to make Eastern Europeans feel comfortable in their lifes against Russia. We need to start some day, and "some day" is now.
      We should be able to arrive at a point where we have a continent without EU, without NATO and without American interference. Isn´t that worth risk something for? Personally, I have not much years left, but that´s my vision at least for a wider future. I hate the idea of seeing younger people falling into the same ideology traps I came across in my life. It´s time to end that scheme.
    • avatar
      ptcjm
      I am sure that it is Mr. Putin's and RT's fault that Iceland won over England and probably the president of Russia was the one doing the timing of the events so they coordinated: the Brexit referendum followed by a greeting from Iceland to the holy land of football.
      Honestly these contagious writings about "probably ordered by Mr. Putin" is just understandable as the illusion of the empire is crackling.
      It is like the Suez crises in repetition ............and the thought has occurred that the referendum was a way of (things just happen) ousting Mr.Cameron as PM.
      The Andy Coulson business along with the media mogul Murdoch, the speech at UN where whistleblowers according to the PM were to be equalised with terrorists, including 9/11 whistleblowers, having non British citizens (Jewish connection) as consults, helping out with demonisation of the president of the Russian federation with the Litvinenko case prior to Davos! is just a tiny description of the British political reality.
    • avatar
      Randall Lee Hilburn
      Putin doesn't have to lift a finger to bring about the collapse of the EU. It is collapsing under the weight of its own corruption. I rather suspect that he knows this. I commend him on the way he is dealing with the situation. It shows some genuine character.

      I am sick of a western leadership that is all of the time tripping themselves up with their own corruption and incompetence, and then blaming their failings on Putin and Russia.
    • Marc Nonnenkamp
      Obviously Russia had nothing to do with the Brexit. The primary fault lies in Brussels.
    • Angus Gallagherin reply toMarc Nonnenkamp(Show commentHide comment)
      Marc Nonnenkamp, look at it like this, when Cologne happened the elites thought they could just smirk, cover it up, and then when they got found out- preach about diversity. It didn't work out like that- the eurosocialists of the SPD and their CDU enablers got utterly shamed on June 23rd and BREXIT is a victory for the German people.
    • Marc Nonnenkampin reply toAngus Gallagher(Show commentHide comment)
      Angus Gallagher, The CDU/CSU and the SPD are totally corrupt members of the western establishment, or even the global establishment - just like the GOP and the Democrats are in the USA. Brexit is a victory for populism at the polls. We still have to wait and see what it will mean for Europe, the UK and the world. On the one hand, voters in many European countries (not all of them) currently want something similar. On the other hand, those who support the socialist super state want to ignore the referendum. I found Pepe Escobar's analysis excellent. Many of the few young people we have left (be it in Europe, the UK or the USA) are actually leaving altogether. Here I am talking about those native born youngsters with good education and minds - not the lazy ones and the career losers. The talent is actually migrating toward Asia, especially to hot global cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila.
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