Yekaterinburg – President Vladimir Putin voiced support on Tuesday for a planned ban on adoptions by foreign same-sex couples and dismissed Western criticism of Russia’s treatment of gay people.
Putin also called for tolerance, but his remarks after a summit with European Union leaders underscored a rift between Russia and many Western governments over gay rights.
“As for a law restricting adoptions of children from Russia by same-sex families … if such a law is passed by parliament I will sign it,” Putin said at a joint news conference after the Russia-EU summit in the city of Yekaterinburg.
A government official said on Saturday that legislation allowing only “traditional” foreign families to adopt Russian children would be submitted to parliament this year.
Putin has frequently championed socially conservative values during a new term he started in May 2012. He said in April that a French law allowing same-sex marriage went against traditional Russian values.
Western governments have expressed concern over a Russian bill that would ban homosexual “propaganda” among minors and activists say it is fuelling violence against gays.
But Putin said Russia’s legislation was “quite liberal. There is no discrimination”.