Moscow, July 10, Interfax - The LGBT issue is raised in the West especially to be able to condemn Russia, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs and a member of the Russian delegation in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA), said.
"Such issues are raised in order to throw mud at Russia on this issue later. By the way, it doesn't happen only to Russia. In nine out of every ten situations, we are not talking about LGBT as such, but about some political issues: [they say] they are persecuted, beaten, punished, but later it turns out that it's absolutely not true; but the information was already reported and the reputation in the mass consciousness is somewhat spoiled," Slutsky told reporters on Monday.
Such misinformation works in this manner and it does not require any probes to condemn a specific country, he said.
Pyotr Tolstoy, the head of the Russian delegation in the OSCE PA and deputy speaker of the State Duma, for his part, said that some 15% of the time at the OSCE PA session had been devoted to this issue and said he was trying to find a response for himself regarding why that is happening.
"It's a tendency in European politics, which I undoubtedly regret, a tendency to draw a direct line between human rights and not just the rights of the LGBT community, but the need for separate financing and support of these people on a state and municipal level. We sympathize with our European colleagues that they have such serious problems with that. There are no such problems in Russia, and no separate financing is envisaged," Tolstoy said.
"They have discussed this issue with interest for a long time, and it seems to me that some 15 percent of the time at the Assembly is devoted to this issue," he said.
He said it is not quite clear to him why this issue draws so much attention: if that is because some parliamentarians are directly interested in this issue or it is because the voters are persistently asking them to give a lot of attention to this issue.
According to earlier reports, the OSCE PA had declined a resolution on the situation in Eastern Europe and it will not be included in the final declaration. Equal numbers of parliamentarians voted for and against the adoption of this resolution. For this reason, the PA secretariat decided not to include this resolution in the final Minsk declaration.
In one of the provisions of the draft resolution, the OSCE PA had called on the Russian authorities to improve the laws on the fight against discrimination, including to provide guarantees of protection from persecution to representatives of the LGBT community and their associations.