Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of lasting fallout from Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
"It is clear that the traumatic effect from the results of the referendum will be felt for quite a long time," Putin told Russian diplomats in Moscow on Thursday.
The Russian leader described Brexit as the choice of the British people, noting that Moscow has not in any way influenced the vote.
"I would like to stress yet again that the so-called Brexit is the choice of the British people, we did not interfere with this process and are not tampering with it in anyway," he said.
The Kremlin strongman, however, said that his country "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."
In a referendum held on June 23, about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent of the people voted to stay in the union. More than 17.4 million Britons said the country should leave the bloc, as just over 16.14 million others favored remaining in the EU.
The referendum has sent economic and political shockwaves across the globe.
Putin had said one day after the referendum that the vote to leave the EU may be the result of “arrogance and a superficial approach to vital questions” shown by UK leaders toward difficulties in their own country and in the EU.
He told reporters at the end of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan on June 24 that Russia will adjust its economic and foreign policies toward the EU as needed after the decision, but noted that it was unlikely that the UK’s departure will affect European sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.