Vladimir Putin is favored by the Brexit result due to his attempts to erode the European unity. With the U.K. having voted to leave the EU, on June 23, 2016, the Russian President got rid of his strongest continental opponent.
Britain has been Russia’s long-time, biggest adversary, since annexing Crimea, in 2014, Moscow faced some EU sanctions. Although Putin tried to break free from some of them, the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has regularly been helping the rest of the European Union’s members to stay in line with the penalties.
Now, after the U.K. referendum, Putin is favored by its result because he tried for 27 months to disintegrate the EU. Also, as the U.K. has voted to leave the politico-economical union, of which it was a part of since 1973. Cameron has resigned from his position.
After all these events that marked in history, the day of June 24, 2016, Putin was the only one who looked unaffected by the Brexit. Moreover, a former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, said that Putin will celebrate Britain’s exit from the EU. “Brexit’s greatest winner is Putin. For years now, he has sought ways to divide Europe, including NATO, hoping for a collapse of unity in Europe, just as the USSR and the Warsaw Pact did a quarter century ago. The U.K.’s exit from the EU will be celebrated widely within Kremlin circles,” mentioned McFaul.
Russia was held under economic sanctions, by the U.S. and the EU, due to Putin’s intervention in the Ukrainian civil war. So, the result of the Brexit is favorable to Putin because not only does it weaken Europe but also the Trans-Atlantic relationship has been reduced. As a consequence, Putin will be able to undermine the sanctions imposed by the EU and the U.S. Russia will be able to maintain its position as a strong partner in energy relations with the European countries.
Brexit may be the start of more referendums as the EU is vulnerable to collapse since the U.K. voted to exit. The Dutch may follow the example of the British. However, in Italy, Greece, France and Sweden; the anti-EU parties seem to be experiencing growth. This chaos that Europe is experiencing is a favorable scene for Putin who does not trust any alliances from the west of Europe.
Putin Bonds With China
While Europe is under pressure after the U.K. referendum, the Russian President who is favored by the Brexit result, went for a business visit to China, on June 25, 2016. The two neighbor countries have a partnership based on common economic interests.
In China, Putin met with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. The Russian leader told his correspondent that he is sure of the success that can be reached by their countries. Xi considered they should “promote widely the idea of being friends forever.”
The businesses that were discussed at the meeting targeted a high-speed rail, the building of a Trans-Balkan grain terminal, and development toward a deeper military coalition. Russia and China were already cooperating on an engine for the airliner.
Putin has been the President of Russia since 2012. Also, he was the leader of the Soviet Union from 2000-2008. Moreover, the 63-year-old politician was the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999-2000 and 2008-2012. For 16 years (1975-1991), Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer. He was raised to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Abc News: Putin Praises ’All-Embracing’ Partnership of Russia, China
BuzzFeed: The Big Winner Of Brexit Is Vladimir Putin
Quartz: With Brexit, Vladimir Putin is rid of his strongest EU opponent
RT: Hot off Brexit, Vladimir Putin goes to China
Image Courtesy of Number 10’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License