March 11, 2016 / 5:22 PM / in 2 years

Russia scolds Britain for saying the Kremlin dreams of Brexit

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks during a news conference with his counterpart, Pakistan's advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz (not pictured) in Islamabad, Pakistan March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia scolded Britain on Friday for saying that Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin dreamed of weakening the West with a British exit from the European Union.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said last week that the only country wanting Britain to the leave the EU was Russia and Prime Minister David Cameron has said what he termed Putin’s aggression makes this no time to drop out of the EU.

“Russia is being dragged into the domestic debate on Brexit,” the Russian embassy in London said in a statement. “Why is the wicked Russia thesis used to explain a Government policy?”

“We’d like the British people to know that those pronouncements have nothing to do with Russia’s policy,” the embassy said. “As a matter of fact, our Government doesn’t have an opinion on Britain’s place in the EU.”

Putin has made no public remarks about Britain’s June EU referendum, though U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have indicated they support Britain’s membership of the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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