Article / 20 June 2016 at 9:30 GMT

Markets rattled, but Russians relaxed on Brexit says minister

First in Business Worldwide. /
  • UK opinion polls suggest the gap between 'stay' and 'quit' camps is wafer-thin
  • But Russia is not too worried about the outcome of the Brexit vote
  • The Russian Finance Minister says stability is his country's main concern

Financial markets and sterling might be rattled by the forthcoming referendum on European Union membership, but Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC that his country was not too worried about the result either way.

"Without a doubt, (a Brexit) could have an effect on the volatility of the market and foreign currency exchange rates. To what extent this volatility will occur, nobody knows," Siluanov said, speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.


As long as Europe stays stable, then Russia is not worried about whether the UK stays in the EU, says Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Photo: CNBC

UK opinion polls suggest that the gap between "leave" and "remain" voters is razor thin and that the vote could go either way. There are concerns among financial markets that a so-called Brexit could upset Britain's economy, trade and investment relationships with the wider world.

But Siluanov says that a UK vote to leave or remain in the 28-country economic and political bloc would not have much bearing on Russia's economic position, as long as Europe as a whole wasn't adversely affected.

"For Russia, I don't think it will affect our situation with the money markets. Nevertheless we are interested in a stable situation with our trading partners because Europe is our main trading partner and it's important for us that the trading conditions that have developed are not fundamentally changed."

"Therefore whatever the decision taken in Britain about leaving or remaining in the EU, we believe that the most important thing is that there won't be any serious consequences for the money markets."

– Edited by Robert Ryan

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