The UK and France’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage means that it will be harder for British and French citizens to adopt children from Russia, Konstantin Dolgov from the Russian Foreign Ministry has announced.

The senior minister wrote his remarks on Twitter, following both France and Britain’s decision to begin the legislative process of introducing equal marriage.

Mr Dolgov wrote: “The British and French parliaments have legalised same-sex marriages. This narrows the chances of the citizens of these countries adopting Russian children”. The comments follow Russia’s recent ban on American citizens adopting Russian children.

The Russian children’s rights ombudsman stated yesterday that allowing gay French couples to adopt Russian orphans would be “unconstitutional”.

Russia, which legalised consensual homosexual behaviour in 1993, has recently strengthened laws restricting the freedoms of LGBT people, with several federal subjects, including Saint Petersburg, banning so-called “gay propaganda”, inspiring the federal government to introduce a similar bill into the State Duma.

In December last year, Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, stated that there is no reason to “regulate” homosexuality and that for most Russians homosexuality “was not a big issue”.