President Vladimir Putin
Russia has accused the European Union of promoting an “alien view of homosexuality and same-sex marriages as a norm of life”.
The claim is included in an official report by the Russian government on the state of human rights in the EU.
According to RIA Novosti, the reports slams “the aggressive propaganda of homosexual love” and Europe’s “dissemination of their neo-liberal values as a universal lifestyle for all other members of the international community”.
The report, the second of its kind by Russia, appears to be in response to official reports from countries in the West that have criticised it’s poor human rights record.
In October last year, outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using anti-gay sentiment as a means to secure influence in the former Soviet republics, fearing they may turn to the West.
“So what he’s telling them: ‘OK, Europe is promising you much more, it’s a better market, they might give you subsidies, they might give you lots of new opportunities and openings. But what you should know is Europe is all about gay rights. If you go to Europe, your family values will be undermined, your traditions will be destroyed. So we as Orthodox unity, we should stick together,’” Saakashvili said.
Russia has come under fire for its regional and federal laws banning gay “propaganda” to “protect” children. The vague laws have been used to restrict press freedom and music concerts, to ban gay Pride events and protests and have led to an increase in violence and discrimination against LGBT people.