Cabinet ministers from Germany have accused the Russian government of behaviour befitting a “flawless dictatorship”, citing the country’s increasingly severe “gay propaganda” law backed by President Vladimir Putin.
The accusation serves as a stark illustration of just how frayed the bond between Germany and Russia has become over recent years, since the country fell under the control of chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We must make clear when in contact with Russian politicians that this collapse in fundamental democratic values is not acceptable, and that Russia is moving towards becoming a flawless dictatorship,” said Dirk Niebel, the German Development Minister while being interviewed by N24.
The remarks came a day after Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Germany’s Justice Minister told a national newspaper how the Russian government is “taking a another big step towards becoming a flawless dictatorship in ostracising homosexuals”.
Those opposed to the apparent Russian persecution of homosexuals speak of a government that effectively seeks to prosecute any person clearly supporting homosexuality or gay rights, while at the same time not permitting same sex couples to adopt children.
It had been feared that the argument would spill over to such an extent that it may affect Germany’s participation in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Critics of the law have said it effectively disallows all gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone voicing support for homosexuals. Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee President, has already spoken to the Russian Government, requesting an explanation as to how the law will be upheld during the games.
Despite Germany’s clear disapproval of Russia’s stance, the nation has insisted it has no intention of boycotting the games altogether as to do so would not be productive for any involve parties.