Europe weaker because of Brexit, Russian deputy prime minister warns
Brexit has weakened Europe, Russia's deputy prime minister has warned.
Arkady Dvorkovich insisted he would rather the EU had remained stronger.
"The British decision to leave Europe made Europe a little bit weaker at this point. The whole process of getting away from Europe is a difficult one and creates more uncertainties.
"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 Euopean peoples.
"Strong politics makes Europe really big player in the international landscape and individual countries cannot affect international politics in the same way that a united Europe can do," he told BBC Newsnight.
Mr Dvorkovich denied claims by David Cameron and others that Russian president Vladimir Putin wanted Brexit in order to weaken the EU and break sanctions against his country.
"That's just not true. First, we do not have any particular opinion whether UK should stay in Europe or leave it. It's a sovereign affair of the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe, Russia is not a player in this game.
"Secondly, 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. We believe it's the wrong attitude," he said.