In his meeting with Vladimir Putin at G20 last night, Prime Minister David Cameron reveals he has “raised concerns” with the Russian President about the country’s controversial anti-gay “propaganda” laws ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Foreign Office confirmed earlier this week that Mr Cameron would indeed raise the issue of the legislation, which, passed by Vladimir Putin in June, bans the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” in Russia.
Following a “candid” 2am meeting in St Petersburg last night, Cameron this morning has tweeted that he “raised concerns about gay rights.”
2am meeting with President Putin. A candid conversation on #Syria. I also raised concerns about gay rights.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) September 6, 2013
ITV reports that the talks lasted for 35 minutes and consisted of a “business-like” atmosphere.
Number 10 described Mr Putin’s responses as “evasive” and the meeting reflecting their “strong differences”.
Last month, David Cameron told the writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry that he shared his “deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.” Mr Cameron added that this abuse can be challenged by attending, not boycotting the Winter Olympics.
The Prime Minister’s comments comments echoed those of the US President Barack Obama. Mr Obama told a press conference: “If Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker.” Adding: “I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”
Out4Russia, launched last week and allows users to lobby G20 governments into action against the Russian law.