07:20 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Putin Wasn't Rooting for Brexit as It Harms Europe, Moscow - Russia’s Deputy PM

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    Russia’s deputy prime minister has said that the country’s president Vladimir Putin never rooted for Brexit and that the Kremlin believes the historic vote by Britain weakened Europe which will have harmful economic implications for the entire world.

    With a series of pro-Europe demonstrations taking place across the UK, Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview with BBC Newsnight that seeing Europe being wounded by Brexit doesn't make him happy at all.

    He admitted that the game-changing referendum outcome has made Europe weaker and that the whole process of leaving such a union is difficult and creates ambiguity, adding that he doesn't see how this could be beneficial for Russia.

    "For Russia, it is important that Europe is strong, we don't need weak partners. We need strong partners to go forward and provide for better future for Russian and European peoples." He stressed.

    "Strong politics makes Europe a really big player in the international landscape and individual countries cannot affect international politics in the same way that a united Europe can do."

    Dvorkovich noted that Russian authorities don't have a particular opinion on whether the United Kingdom should keep close ties with Europe or not, as it is not Russia's business intervene in a "sovereign affair' of the British people and the rest of Europe.

    He also dismissed the accusations voiced by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron that Britain's decision to withdraw from the EU was "Putin's victory" as it could prompt the lifting of sanctions imposed against Russia.

    "Sanctions are not because of British politics, mostly it's the influence of the United States, and overall attitude of European governments towards events around Ukraine and in Ukraine." He explained, "We believe it's the wrong attitude."

    Earlier this week, a fresh series of sanctions were announced by the US, targeting individual Russians and Ukrainians as well as companies.

    Comments by Dvorkovich came as a series of rallies were taking place in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge, demanding a pause in the Brexit process.

    The demonstrators called for keeping tight economic, cultural, and social ties with the rest of Europe and greater public consultation on every stage of the Brexit negotiations.

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    Brexit, Vladimir Putin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Europe, United Kingdom
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