PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin signalled yesterday that Moscow would seek changes in an agreement regulating adoptions of Russian children by French parents, saying a French law allowing same-sex marriage went against traditional Russian values.
Russia has already halted adoptions by Americans in a dispute with Washington over human rights. Any move to scrap the year-old agreement with France, or impose new restrictions, would deepen a divide between Mr Putin and European nations over gay rights.
Mr Putin, who has often championed socially conservative values since he began a third term last May, was greeted in the Netherlands this month by demonstrators protesting against Russian legislation that critics say would discriminate against gays.
At a meeting on children’s issues, Mr Putin expressed support for a regional lawmaker, Marina Orgeyeva, who proposed reviewing the adoption agreement with France because of its same-sex marriage decision, Russian news agencies reported. The French parliament approved the new law on Tuesday.
“She is right. We need to react to what is going on around us,” Mr Putin said. “We respect our partners, but we ask that they respect our cultural traditions and the ethical, legislative and moral norms of Russia.”
“I think we have the right to make changes.”