Russian foreign ministry made formal complaints to UK, US and Canadian embassies for flying the rainbow flag during Pride month

UK embassy Moscow Russia Pride flag

The foreign ministry in Russia made a formal complaint to the UK, US and Canadian embassies in Moscow for flying the rainbow LGBT+ Pride flag during Pride Month.

Russia’s infamous “gay propaganda” law bans any positive depiction of LGBT+ people. Anyone found guilty of sharing such information with minors can be sentenced to heavy fines or up to 15 years in prison.

A diplomatic source told TASS that the UK embassy in Moscow had received a protest note from the Russian foreign ministry for displaying the LGBT+ Pride flag, which it raised towards the end of June.

State Duma lawmaker Vasily Piskarev confirmed that protest notes had also been sent to the Canadian and US embassies in Moscow, which also displayed rainbow LGBT+ Pride flags.

As well as defying Russia’s vehemently anti-LGBT+ leader Vladimir Putin, the American embassy also acted in defiance of Donald Trump, who at the beginning of June banned US embassies from flying the rainbow flag for the entirety of Pride Month.

The ban only applied to official flagpoles, so the embassy in Moscow worked around it by hanging the flag on an exterior wall.

The US national flag and an LGBT+ Pride flag hoisted on the front facade of the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia. (Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty)

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Kremlin staff had not noticed the flag flying at the US embassy, but said “in any event, any display of propaganda of non-traditional sexual minorities in our country is not allowed by law”.

In July, Putin took a shot at the US embassy in Moscow for raising the Pride flag, suggesting that the embassy’s employees must all be secretly queer.

He said the decision to fly the Pride flag “revealed something about the people that work there”, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“It’s no big deal though,” he continued. “We have spoken about this many times, and our position is clear.

“Yes, we passed a law banning the propaganda of homosexuality among minors. So what? Let people grow up, become adults and then decide their own destinies.”