Irish foreign minister Eamon Gilmore has responded to calls from a number of gay activist groups over the controversial anti-gay “propaganda” laws in Russia, saying the government “strongly disagrees” with the legislation and is exploring actions to take against it.

The International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO), BeLonG To Youth Services, The Union of Students in Ireland (USI), and the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), recently called on the foreign minister to take clear measures against the notorious legislation.

In a statement from Mr Gilmore, he has responded that Ireland’s government “strongly disagree with the recent Russian legislation” and are exploring what “actions can most effectively be pursued, possibly together with our EU partners”.

President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

A new international campaign ”Keep Hope Alive” has called on world leaders to challenge the Russian government at this week’s G20 conference.

The G20 conference is taking place in Russia in St Petersburg on September 5 and 6.

In its letter to Mr Gilmore earlier this week, Gay and Lesbian Network (GLEN) said: “Ireland, while not a member of the G20, has a very significant role to play in ensuring that the EU seriously addresses these violations of the most basic international human rights obligations and democratic principles.

“We call on the Irish government to prioritise addressing these developments including at the EU, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Human Rights Council, where Ireland is currently a member.”

Barack Obama, who is attending the G20 conference, announced he would meet LGBT activists in St Petersburg during his trip to the city.