Voices from Russia

Sunday, 26 June 2016

LIfeNews on the Brexit

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Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister N Ya Azarov thought that Kiev should concentrate on solving domestic economic problems, instead of dreaming of European integration:

The result of the [Brexit] referendum has no relevance to the internal situation in the Ukraine. Our trade and economic relations with the UK are derisory. Besides, we’ve never gotten anything good from them, just empty talk. We have to think about how to get the Ukraine out of its present crisis. We aren’t moving towards the EU… we’re becoming Bangladesh. All this talk about European integration is make-believe.

In the UK referendum, the number of votes to leave the EU outweighed those favouring European integration. This led to a sharp drop in value of the UK Pound by 10 percent and pulled European stock indices into the red. After they counted the votes, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation.

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French President François Hollande commented on results of the UK Brexit referendum:

This event changes the situation in Europe. The EU will no longer be the same, and it’ll take us quite some time to take the measures to solve the emerging problems. It’ll take some time to bring it about, to put it into effect, for Europe will no longer be what it was before. We must recognise that the story has changed today; now, new events change the European situation.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:

I hope that after it leaves the EU, the UK will continue to be a close partner.

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President V V Putin confided that the Brexit wouldn’t affect Western sanctions against Russia:

These sanctions didn’t start as a bilateral matter; we’ve only responded to measures taken against our country. I emphasise that if our partners ever want to engage in constructive dialogue with us, we’re ready, we want that, and we’d respond positively to positive actions. At the same time, other parties can’t expect Russia to do things over which it has no control.

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K I  Kosachyov, head of the RF Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee told us:

If the British authorities decide to withdraw from the EU, it wouldn’t happen overnight. According to my calculations, it’d take about two years to carry out all necessary consultations, to prepare the measures to implement it, and start the actual process. After this transition period, they’d need another five years to complete it. It’d take seven years for a complete withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

After the positive outcome of the referendum in the UK, it’s likely to see further disintegration in the EU. It’s not right to gloat about it, as Europe continues to be one of Russia’s largest trading partners. Even in a time of sanctions, trade between the EU and Russia is 49 percent of the total, some 230 billion Euros (16.8 billion Roubles. 1.67 trillion Renminbi. 17.36 trillion INR. 255.7 billion USD. 332.5 billion CAD. 342 billion AUD. 186.9 billion UK Pounds) per year. I don’t share the simplistic view that if things get worse for them, it gets better for us. If the EU remains enmeshed in problems, mired in crisis, this’d affect our trade relations.

On 23 June, the UK held a referendum on whether to leave or stay in the EU. In the end, the “Leave” faction garnered nearly 17 million votes, or 52 percent of the total number of votes. The Remain” faction scored a little more than 15 million votes, only 48 percent. Against this background, world oil prices lost about 6 percent and the UK Pound weakened against the US Dollar.

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G A Zyuganov, the First Secretary of the KPRF Central Committee and KPRF Faction Leader in the RF Gosduma, told us:

The decision to withdraw from the EU taken by British citizens in the referendum showed that they weren’t willing to put up with the negative effects of globalisation. The Brussels bureaucracy engulfed them and they had to swallow its dictates; the English were the first to realise its dangers. The End of History didn’t happen, but it’s a new stage, where peoples pursue sovereign development and friendly relations with their neighbours. This is the beginning of the end of the EU, which acted as the big stick of American politicians, rather than harmonising relations.

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O A Tsaryov, former Peoples Deputy of the Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada, told us:

The Ukraine shouldn’t count on EU accession. After the UK referendum and its possible consequences, the EU might not even be around in a few years time. Once again, this emphasised that Kiev chose the wrong path. They sacrificed their economy’s stability in a quest for “European Integration”. Everything turned out to be in vain. They want to go where it’s already impossible to enter. They try to reassure themselves that it’s possible, that they can get into the EU eventually, but this “later” may never come, as the EU can’t survive. They lost their illusory “opportunity” to get the Ukraine into the EU.

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24 June 2016

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The Irish government intends to start a process of reunification with Northern Ireland. The main instrument of such an action could be a referendum, both in the north of the island, which is part of the UK, and in the south in the Republic of Ireland itself. However, Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Charlie Flanagan told the Daily Mail:

The referendum won’t be in the near future. A future united Ireland is in the interests of our citizens, but to hold a referendum at the same time that the British government negotiates its withdrawal from the EU would only cause division.

Ireland’s reunification would threaten the territorial integrity of the UK, as part of the latter is Northern Ireland. At the same time, the majority of people of Northern Ireland voted in favour of remaining in the EU, but the national vote went the other way, not taking them into account, which gave rise to even more talk about a possible referendum for independence from England.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the start of preparations for a referendum on independence from the UK. Firstly, the task is to develop a bill calling for such a referendum. This vote will be the second in recent years. In the previous referendum, the Scots voted by a whisker voted to keep Scotland in the UK. Talk about Scottish independence resumed immediately after the results of the referendum on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU became clear. According to the results of the last referendum, nearly 50 percent of Scots believed that the country should be independent. The Cabinet believe that this number increased over the last two years, especially, after the announcement that the UK is leaving the EU.

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25 June 2016

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