Russia’s anti-gay bill may infringe fundamental rights: Dutch minister

Russia’s insistence on pressing ahead with anti-gay information legislation may ‘infringe fundamental rights,’ Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans said on Tuesday at a news conference in Moscow.

Timmermans and Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov held a joint news conference on Tuesday following a meeting earlier in the day. At the beginning of this month Timmermans urged Russia not to make the bill law, saying it may be contrary to Russia’s international obligations.

‘We don’t have a single international or common European commitment to allow the propaganda of homosexuality,’ Lavrov is quoted as saying by news agency AP.

Relationship

At the news conference, Timmermans said he and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton believe the legislation ‘could infringe fundamental rights,’ AP reported.

The law will make it a criminal offence to hold public events or spread information about homosexuality to minors. Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 but homophobia remains strong, AP said.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is due to visit the Netherlands on April 8 as part of the events to mark 400 years of ties between the Netherlands and Russia.


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