The upheaval in the U.K. after its Brexit referendum in favor of leaving the European Union has similarities to the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.
While it’s “unreasonable to draw direct parallels,” it’s obvious that the U.K. is going through a “turbulent, confusing and unpredictable period,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Monday. Russia “has gone through the collapse of the Soviet Union and many generations clearly remember the period of the Soviet collapse, that period of uncertainty.”
Russia is following events closely because of potential economic consequences, though there are “more questions than answers” now, Peskov said. The Kremlin has often urged the U.K. to restore ties in recent years, and it will work to maintain good relations with the EU since Russia has an interest in a “stable, fast-developing and predictable” Europe, he said.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991 after Communist hardliners staged a failed coup attempt in August against plans by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to reorganize the state’s relationship with individual republics. Putin called the superpower’s collapse “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century in a 2005 address to the Russian parliament. He’s urged former Soviet states to rebuild ties through the Eurasian Economic Union, though he’s denied that Russia wants to restore its former empire.
SOURCE: Ilya Arkhipov