Vladimir Putin: Russia doesn’t have a problem with gays

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Vladimir Putin is claiming that the West has invented Russia’s record of homophobia.

The Russian President made the claims in a meeting with rights leaders, according to Russian state-controlled news agency TASS.

He said: “Russia recognizes and does not infringe on the rights of non-traditional sexual orientation.”

Putin also claimed that the country’s record of homophobia is not reality – and is a “label attached by other countries.”

He continued: “It is a label attached to the Russian Federation by other countries, especially by those which have criminal responsibility for people of non-traditional sexual orientation.

“[Homosexuality] is not the choice of our society, but those are people whose rights are not cut.

“[It’s not our] intention to persecute people of whatever non-traditional orientation.”

“We are not punishing anyone, but traditional family, healthy nation — those are our choices.

“One does not exclude the other, and one does not affect the other. I believe, a balanced approach like this is absolutely correct.”

Despite his claims, Putin signed a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” last year – effectively banning the gay rights movement.

A bank with close ties to the Kremlin reportedly agreed last week to loan money to a number of far-right homophobic parties across Europe.