Vladimir Putin has scotched talk of a sex ban between Russian women and World Cup visitors coming to the country this summer.
“All countries accuse each other of racism, homophobia,” said Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov , after an outcry over comments made by Tamara Pletnyova, chairwoman of the Family, Women and Children Affairs Committee.
Pletnyova had suggested that Russian women should not procreate with foreign visitors, and if they did, to make sure that they were of the same race. That led to accusations of nationalism, xenophobia and racism from those within and outwith the World Cup hosts.
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Peskov went on to confirm that Putin believed that Russian women should and could make their own choices, and distanced his government from the comments made:
“This has nothing to do with the World Cup. As for the women of Russia, they can handle anything themselves.”
Pletnyova suggested that Russian women should not conceive children with tourists who were in the country for the World Cup, something which was reported as a ‘sex ban’ between tourists and Russian women, which forced Putin into saying that he was happy with the prospect of international relations.
Pletnyova had said that, ‘Nothing good will come out of… the inappropriate behaviour of Russian women.’
Reports suggested that the original comments were made in relation to children of mixed heritages born after the 1980 Moscow Summer Games, with Pletnyova opining:
“There will be girls who meet men, and then they will give birth. Maybe they will get married, maybe they won’t. These children will later suffer and have suffered in the Soviet era.”
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She went on to specify her main concern was if the children’s parents had different ethnicities: “It is one thing if the parents are of the same race; quite another if they are of different races.
“We should be giving birth to our own children. I’m not a nationalist, but still.”
A Russian Liberal Democrat MP, Mikhail Degtyaryov, has also spoken out against a fellow politician’s proposed sex ban between Russians and visitors from other countries during the World Cup.
Degtyaryov confirmed to Russian state news agency Tass: “The more love stories we have connected to the world championship, the more people from different countries fall in love, the more children are born, the better.”