The Russian newspaper 'Vechernyaya Moskva' interviewed several Russian experts to discuss Brexit and the conservative’s landslide victory in the recent elections to the lower house of the UK Parliament that appears to signal that the Brexit saga may be coming to a close.
According to Elena Ananyeva, head of the Center for British Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Europe, the collapse of the EU will lead to a war on Russia's border. She also added that one should not bemoan Labour's defeat as anti-Russian sentiment is as strong in the Labour Party as it is in the Conservative Party.
Stanislav Byshok, executive director of the CIS-EMO monitoring organization, assessed that before and after Brexit, the attitudes towards Russia in Britain will not change. If anything, those who supported Britains remaining in the European Union are looking for an external enemy, who will serve as a reason for preserving the EU. "And Russia suits this role of Leviathan," Byshok said.
Below is the Vechernyaya Moskva's article: (Vm.ru, December 13, 2019)
Russian Expert Byshok: Before And After Brexit, The Attitudes Towards Russia In Britain Will Not Change
"Stanislav Byshok, executive director of the CIS-EMO monitoring organization, believes that the Tory victory and the subsequent Brexit will not affect Russia. 'Brexit wasn't about us in the first place. In 2016, there were expectations that following separation from the EU, Britain would abandon the anti-Russian sanctions. But now the country [UK] is drifting towards the United States. Before and after Brexit, the attitudes towards Russia in Britain will not change,' Byshok said."
Stanislav Byshok (Source: Sputnik-georgia.ru)
“The expert is sure that Johnson’s victory will not lead to the normalization of the relations with Moscow.
"Elena Ananyeva, head of the Center for British Studies at the of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Europe, recalled the anti-Russian decisions of the current prime minister.
Elena Ananyeva (Source: rtvi.com)
“‘Boris Johnson, as Foreign Minister, made a major contribution to ensure that the relations between our countries would not improve. In general, Britain has nullified cooperation with Russia. And this was dismantled in nearly every area. There are certain advances, but they are at the level of the business community. It will take a long period of time to get back to normal,’ Ananyeva told the ‘Vechernyaya Moskva’ newspaper."
Russian Expert Ananyeva: Trump Could Befriend Russia And Britain
"Unlike Byshok, she [Ananyeva] believes that a normalization is possible under Johnson.
‘If you consider that Britain is in close relations with the United States, and if Trump remains in power, then the relations can improve,’ the [Ananyeva] added.
“Some Russian political scientists hypothesize that the weakening and even the collapse of the EU would be beneficial for Moscow. From this point of view, the victory of Johnson, leading Britain to exit the union, and the EU [in turn] to collapse, would serve Russia's national interests.
“The experts interviewed by the ‘Vechernyaya Moskva’ disagreed with this opinion.
Russian Expert Byshok: People Who Support The Preservation Of The European Union Are Looking For The Presence Of An External Enemy. And Russia Is Suitable For This Role Of Leviathan
“‘Centrifugal tendencies in Europe do not lead to autonomy in the relations with Russia. On the contrary, they find expression in the strengthening of the sanctions. People who support the preservation of the European Union seek the image of an external enemy. And Russia suits this role of Leviathan. Before the referendum, right-wing populists wanted to repeat it in their countries, but now they are talking about reforming the EU without the bloc's collapse. The exit by Britain, and the associated difficulties, have reduced the desire to leave in other countries',’ Stanislav Byshok pointed out.
“In his opinion, the European Union will not become weaker at all, because even [when the UK] was a member [of the EU], London kept away from a close integration, it did not enter the euro zone, the Schengen zone and did not want to create a single European army.
Russian Expert Ananyeva: The Dissolution Of The Bloc Means A War Of European Countries On The Border With Russia
“Elena Ananyeva believes that Russia will not benefit from the disintegration of the EU.
“‘The dissolution of the bloc means a war of European countries on the border with Russia. Brexit has both pros and cons for our country. In 2016, Putin warned on the Brexit’s impact on raw material prices, which are important for the Russian Federation. Britain spearheaded the anti-Russian policy. But its departure from the EU will not make the kingdom any more friendly. The pros and cons have yet to prove themselves,’ Ananyeva emphasized.
“Corbin who lost the election might have been more moderate in relations with Russia. During the Skripals affair, he called on London to exercise restraint and investigate the assassination attempt. However, Ananyeva is convinced that the hypothetical victory of the Laborites would not have meant a decrease in anti-Russian rhetoric in Downing Street. She recalled that during the election campaign, Laborites accused Johnson of refusing to publish a parliamentary report on Russian interference in the 2016 [Brexit] referendum and on contributions to the coffers of the Conservative Party by our [Russian] oligarchs. In short, the anti-Russian sentiment is as strong in the Labour Party as it is in the Conservative Party.”