In Hannover Vladimir Putin was waylaid by FEMEN activists and in Amsterdam the Russian leader was confronted by sexual minorities who hung up rainbow-coloured flags near the Hermitage Amsterdam museum, a branch of the world-famous Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg.
At Vladimir Putin’s and the Netherlands prime minister’s meeting with journalists, the Russian president explained the bill banning the propaganda of homosexuality now being discussed in Russia. Sexual minorities’ rights are not infringed upon in Russia, they enjoy all rights and freedoms and are promoted at work, Putin stressed.
"I have already mentioned that I believe it important to protect sexual minorities’ rights. However, we cannot deny that same-sex marriages do not produce children. In Europe and Russia we are facing a demographic problem. One way to solve it is, of course, encouraging immigration but I would like the birth rate in Russia to grow among titular ethnic groups, such as Russians, Tatars, Chechens, Bashkirs, Daghestanis, Jews, etc. In this connection we should come to an agreement instead of throwing stones at each other.”
In Vladimir Putin’s opinion, if same-sex marriages were allowed in Russia it could lead to homicide in certain regions, such as Chechnya, for example. The journalists asked the Russian leader about his attitude to the action of the FEMEN group in Hannover.
"What can I say about the girls… You know, I had no time for breakfast that morning, so if they had shown me sausages or a piece of ham I would have been happy. As for their charms, they left me indifferent. Thank God that gay people did not strip down here in Amsterdam.”
The Russian president arrived in Amsterdam to open the year of Russia in the Netherlands and the Year of the Netherlands in Russia. Queen Beatrix and Vladimir Putin opened the exhibition Peter the Great, the Inspired Czar at the Hermitage Amsterdam museum. After visiting the exhibition the two heads of the state also opened a commemorative plaque in honour of our countries’ cultural years.