Russian official: The EU should fix its own problems before criticising Russia over LGBT issues

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A Russian official has responded to an Amnesty International study on attacks on members of the LGBT community in EU countries, to accuse EU members of hypocrisy over its attitude towards LGBT issues in Russia.

The report was published on Wednesday by Amnesty, which examined the attacks on members of the LGBT community.

Responding to the report was Konstantin Dolgov, the human rights commissioner for the Russian Foreign Ministry, who cited a statistic that 80% of Europeans affected by homophobic violence do not report crimes to the police, for fear of institutionalised discrimination.

Dolgov said via a statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website that the study represented “confirmation that before criticizing other countries for alleged infringement on the rights of sexual minorities, the European Union and its member states should deal with the serious existing problems in this area at home.”

The Amnesty report, titled Because of Who I Am: Homophobia, Transphobia and Hate Crimes in Europe, gave details of gaps in EU legislation for fighting sexuality and gender motivated crimes, issues with reporting such attacks and recommendations to member states to fix the problems.

Dolgov in August defended the recent controversial passing of the anti-gay law in Russia, saying it does not breach any “international obligations”, and that any claims it violates human rights are “groundless”. He has voiced strong opposition to “cultural interference”, from the West.

At a Beijing forum on human rights last week, he said Russia “cannot but be concerned about the aspiration of the Western countries to impose their neo-liberal values as a universal basis for life-sustaining activity on other members of the international community.”

President Vladimir Putin signed the 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.