Russia has refused to ratify the European Council’s resolution on Youth Politics after other countries’ representatives unexpectedly amended the document with a paragraph on sexual minorities’ rights and suggested that it received a key status.
As a result, the joint signing of the document was blocked, Russian online daily Gazeta.ru reported, quoting its own correspondent at the conference of European ministers responsible for youth in St Petersburg.
The conferences have been going on since 1985, and this is the first time a resolution like this has not been agreed.
Officials from the Russian delegation did not immediately comment on the move, but one of them – the aide to Russian Minister of Education and Science Aleksandr Stradze wrote in his twitter microblog that “the Russian Federation’s delegation does not consider this issue to be among the priorities within the framework of the realization of the youth policy”. “The priorities are different,” the official wrote.
Stradze added that Russia was still observing the principles of the European Human Rights Convention that forbid the discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Swedish Minister for Gender Equality, Nyamko Sabuni, said, that the failure to approve the final declaration was a very important factor that can be not understood by the Council of Europe.
Russian politicians are currently waging a major campaign against so-called homosexual propaganda. As a first step the hosting city of the CE’s conference – St Petersburg – approved a regional law which introduced large fines for the public promotion of homosexuality and paedophilia towards minors. Several other regions also introduced similar regulations and a group of MPs in the Federal Parliament have proposed a similar national law.
LGBT activists also face other restrictions, like a 100 year ban on gay pride events in Moscow. They are now taking a case against the ban to the International Court of Human Rights.