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Russia’s mission rejects Council of Europe body’s calls to repeal "gay propaganda" ban

The Commission exceeded its authority in drawing up the report, the Ambassador Ivan Soltanovsky, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe said, recalling that the protection of sexual minorities is not part of its mandate

PARIS, October 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe has rejected the recommendations of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) to abolish the legal ban on providing information about homosexuality to minors, Ambassador Ivan Soltanovsky, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, told TASS on Wednesday.

"The Commission exceeded its authority in drawing up the report," the diplomat said, recalling that "the protection of sexual minorities is not part of its mandate."

"In this regard, the calls to prioritize the repeal of the legal ban on the provision of information about homosexuality to minors are legally null and void, and are nothing else but interference in Russia’s internal affairs," Soltanovsky stressed.

"Last year, the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation were approved in order to protect against such abuse of power by international bodies," he said. "That being said, we do not consider ourselves in any way bound by the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report."

According to the diplomat, "the very procedure of drafting the report raises questions."

"In spite of the ECRI's visit to our country, the report refers to Western media outlets and news agencies, controversial human rights experts, and even the US Department of State as its main sources of information," he explained. "So the question is, why come to our country and talk to Russian officials at all?"

About the ECRI’s activities

Commenting on the ECRI, Soltanovsky pointed out that "it goes beyond its responsibility."

"Thus, the ECRI actually seeks to deprive nations of their sovereign rights to determine the migration policy, contributing to the growth of uncontrolled illegal migration and complicating the fight against human trafficking," he noted.

"We will continue cooperation with the ECRI under the condition that the commission will refrain from crossing the well-known ‘red lines’ in the future," Soltanovsky warned.

The Russian diplomat suggested that the commission "address the issues directly related to its mandate, namely discrimination against national minorities, structural racism, the fight against Nazism, neo-Nazism and aggressive nationalism, Christianophobia, and the restrictions on the freedom of expression and the media.".