Russian President Vladimir Putin mocked staff at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for displaying a rainbow LGBT pride flag, and implied that U.S. dignitaries hung the flag because they were homosexuals themselves.
The remarks were made during a video conference after Senator Alexei Pushkov noted that the embassy had hung the rainbow flag from the front of the building to celebrate June as LGBT Pride month.
“Who works in this building?” Putin queried.
“Americans,” came the reply.
“Let them celebrate. They’ve shown a certain something about the people who work there,” Putin jibed, with a smirk.
The embassy had previously proudly announced the display of the pride flag on a Instagram page, with the caption, “LGBTI rights are human rights. Human rights are universal. Everyone deserves to live free from hatred, prejudice and persecution.”
The administration of President Donald Trump had previously told embassy officials flying rainbow pride flags from official embassy flagpoles was prohibited. Several embassies took to draping the flags from banisters and building facades instead.
Putin, who recently signed legislation solidifying the Russian definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, has previously stated that liberalism is “obsolete” and poses a danger to citizens of Western countries:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has blasted Western liberalism as “obsolete” and called out attitudes towards gay rights, immigration and multiculturalism in Western countries.
In the attack on liberalism, the Russian leader said that the dominant ideology had “outlived its purpose” and that Europe had elevated the rights of migrants to the point where “kill, plunder and rape with impunity.”
The Russian president, in the brief interview, slammed Europe’s decision to allow millions of migrants to relocate to the continent, which has, consequently, caused numerous issues ranging from terrorism to a spike in sexual assault cases.
President Putin then said that ‘the liberal idea’ had expired, referring to a populist rejection of current elitist liberalism which has had to become increasingly censorious and totalitarian to preserve its shaky global order.
The United States and Russia have long held different views on the treatment given to the LGBT movement.