British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin last met in 2014. They are not very close neither in terms of ideas or interests.
The British premier is often seen by Moscow as the closest ally of Washington within the European Union and at a great distance from the ideological interests and positions which Russia takes.
If all European leaders and many from beyond Europe’s borders have spoken about the referendum with most in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, the official Russian position is the absence of an opinion. There has been no official statement on the subject.
But everyone, starting with David Cameron believe they know how Vladimir Putin is thinking on the subject.
“I have to say in all the leaders and politicians I’ve met around the world, I can’t think of any of our friends, not Australia, not New Zealand, not Canada, not America, who wants us to leave the EU. The only person I can think that might want us to leave the EU is Vladimir Putin,” David Cameron told the House of Commons.
He also gave his opinion at a Remain rally when he said: “Is it worth arguing asking the question: who would be happy if we left? Putin might be happy.”
So where does Russia’s interest in the referendum lie – with remain or would it be in the Kremlin’s interest to see the UK leave the bloc? Conjecture and speculation on this question has been varied. And what type of relationship would Putin like to develop with European leaders in the future?