Putin says 'traumatic effect' of Brexit vote to last long
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned that the fallout from Britain's vote to leave the European Union would last a long time.
"Brexit -- that is the choice of the subjects of Great Britain and we have not in any way interfered in this and are not interfering," Putin told Russian diplomats in Moscow.
The Kremlin strongman said Moscow "will closely follow how far the negotiations between London and Brussels go and what the consequences will be for all of Europe and for us."
"It is clear that the traumatic effect from the results of the referendum will be felt for quite a long time," Putin said.
"We will see how their principles of democracy get realised in practice."
A slim majority of voters in Britain cast their ballots to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23 that has sent economic and political shockwaves across the globe.
Putin has played his cards close to his chest over the Brexit vote but many in the West suspect him of relishing the prospect of turmoil in the EU.
Putin had earlier slammed the British leadership's approach to the referendum as "nothing more than overconfidence and a superficial approach to solving fateful decisions for one's country".
Ties between Russia and the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War over the Ukraine crisis, with the EU slapping damaging sanctions on Moscow.
© 2016 AFP