Germany’s foreign minister has heavily criticised Russian’s recently advanced legislation which would ban the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples.

Russian lawmakers on 18 June, voted unanimously to pass legislation banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, as well as single parents who live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

The Duma, or lower parliamentary house, voted 443-0 to approve the draft law, as well as related amendments to Russian family law. A third reading is expected on 21 June.

On Friday, Guido Westerwelle, said during a visit to Lituania that he was “concerned” about the passage of the legislation, reports the Local.

He said: “I cannot hide that I am concerned about this development in Russia and (these) domestic discussions about discrimination of sexual minorities in Russia,

“We think any kind of discrimination of sexual minorities, gays or lesbian for example, [is] not acceptable,” said the openly gay minister in the city of Kaunas.

Germany currently does not allow same-sex marriage, but has laws enabling registered partnerships. Gay couples are still banned from domestic adoption in Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already indicated his approval of the bill, stating “If such a law is passed by the Parliament of the country, I will sign it.”

Two weeks ago, the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, said it is only “logical” to halt adoptions of Russian children by French couples due to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in France.