Russia says not 'gloating' over Brexit vote

AFP
Moscow, Russia Updated: Jan 16, 2019, 06:02 PM(IST)

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Ties between the two countries collapsed following the poisoning of former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury last year.

Russia on Wednesday denied it was rubbing its hands or gloating after Britain's parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's deal on leaving the European Union.

On Tuesday, British MPs voted massively against the withdrawal agreement signed by May and EU leaders, raising fears of a disorderly "no-deal" Brexit.

Speaking in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted his country did not want to interfere in Britain's affairs and said Russia was prepared to deal with any scenario.

"We will not say and are not saying anything about Brexit, even though some people are constantly saying and writing that Russia is rubbing its hands and gloating. Nothing of the kind," he told reporters.

"We have always said — long before the idea of Brexit took shape — that a united, strong and most importantly independent European Union is in our interests," he added.

"Let's see what happens. Naturally, we will be ready to cooperate both with the European Union and Britain if it all ends with (Britain's) exiting the EU."

Ties between the two countries collapsed following the poisoning of former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury last year. 

London has accused the Russian government of being behind an attack that later led to the death of a British citizen. Moscow has denied the charges.

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