Moscow, May 8, Interfax - The leadership and law enforcement authorities in Chechnya are ready to cooperate with the federal authorities to investigate media reports about the situation around sexual minorities in the republic, no complaints have still been made officially about their harassment, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov told journalists.
"The leadership and law enforcement authorities of the Chechen republic are ready to closely cooperate with ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Interior Ministry and other law enforcement authorities to investigate media reports alleging persecution of persons of nontraditional orientation," Kadyrov said.
"This phenomenon is not characteristic of the Chechen people," Kadyrov said.
"In Chechen society, there is no such thing as nontraditional orientation: our people have for millennia lived by different rules prescribed by God Almighty and dictated by the moral and ethical norms of inter-personal relations," Kadyrov said.
"We have never had them among us Chechens. Unless we are talking about someone who, not being Chechen, call themselves such to get a chance to end up in the West," Kadyrov said.
"The Chechen ombudsman, human rights campaigners with huge work experience, non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement chiefs have asked for reports to be made on instances of harassment and use of violence, if there were any, but there have been no complaints on this score until now," the Chechen leader said.
Kadyrov denied that people were afraid to complain to law enforcement authorities. "That is not so. No one intimidated anyone. That's impossible," he said.
"Nevertheless, since the West has been inflating this topic for so long, giving it more attention than to bloody conflicts, wars, epidemics, mass mortality from famine in Africa, and violence against people, children, then this might be necessary for some influential forces of a global scale," Kadyrov said.
"Therefore, we are determined to closely cooperate with Tatyana Moskalkova and the country's law enforcement authorities. We are interested in truth being heard. In Chechnya, the law reigns supreme. Whoever breaks it will be held accountable. There should be no doubt about that," Kadyrov said.
"Chechnya is keen to make it known to Western politicians who speak out on this topic, including Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, that all their statements on the matter are baseless and can be attributed to the fact that these politicians do not possess unbiased information," Kadyrov said.
"We get the impression that a host of politicians in the West have ruled out a different opinion and different conclusions on this issue all along. If they are really concerned by this issue, I responsibly say: there is no persecution," Kadyrov said.
"But if the West is issuing us an ultimatum to demand that we accept their rules, so that men marry men and women marry women, adopt children and teach them the same thing, then this is unacceptable to our people," Kadyrov said.
The West is well aware that this is untrue, "but they habitually say what's in their interests rather than what happens in reality," Kadyrov said.
Previously, the West granted refugee status and residence permits only to those who claimed to have fought the federal forces and local authorities as part of illegal paramilitary groups, Kadyrov said. "All borders were open to them," he said.
"It is no secret to anyone that thousands of people ended up in the West by saying they were Chechen, while in fact they were not. Now we see the same picture. Plans are being made again to let in 'Chechens' who don't even know where Chechnya is," he said.