EU Commissioner: ‘Russia’s anti-gay laws means I will certainly not go to the Winter Olympics’

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Europe’s Commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights has announced that she will not be attending the 2014 Winter Olympics as she opposes Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws.

Luxembourg politician Viviane Reding tweeted today: “I will certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian legislation.”

On Sunday, Joachim Gauck, the German President, previously announced that he was not going to attend the Sochi Games. 

Mr Gauck has not visited Russia since March 2012, when he took office.

He is a strong supporter of LGBT rights and in February, he told the UN Human Rights Council: “I am encouraged by the social debates that are taking place at the moment in India and in other states that are extending women’s rights, and by the debates about equal rights for LGBT people in more and more countries worldwide.”

In early December, US investors tried to encourage corporate sponsors of the Sochi Games to speak out against the anti-gay laws. 

In a fresh attempt to dismiss concerns about LGBT athletes attending February’s Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi, President Putin last month declared he was against “hatred” towards people of a “non-traditional sexual orientation” – whilst continuing to support the country’s homophobic legislation.