EU deplores toughening of Russian law against LGBT «propaganda»: «These laws fuel homophobia».

LGBT activists hold a banner during a protest demanding an investigation into the murder of Russian LGBT rights activist Yelena Grigoryeva in front of the Russian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. – PAVLO GONCHAR / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The European Union on Thursday deplored the tightening of Russian legislation against so-called LGTBI «propaganda,» assuring that these laws «fuel homophobia.»

The spokesman for the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Pedro Stano, has shown his «deep concern» about the amendments approved on Wednesday by the Russian State Duma, which have extended the punishments against those who spread LGTBI content, as well as the imposition of new restrictions in the framework of the law on foreign agents.

«These legislative developments fuel homophobia and further deepen the harsh repression of any critical and alternative speech in the context of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine,» reads a statement from the Foreign Office.

In addition, the portfolio led by Josep Borrell has reiterated the condemnation «in the strongest possible terms» towards the invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24 on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

«The European Union stands in solidarity with the Russian citizens who are prevented from exercising their Human Rights», the Union’s Foreign Affairs spokesman has maintained.

Russia has justified the reform of the law that hardens the punishments against those who spread LGTBI contents in the need to supposedly combat scourges such as pedophilia, but for the organizations defending Human Rights it means «one more step in the repression against the collective».

Russian authorities plan to prosecute any type of content considered contrary to conservative values on the Internet, media, books, films and advertisements, according to Russian official media.

Fines for LGTBI «propaganda» can reach 400,000 rubles (about 6,400 euros) in the case of ordinary citizens, or 800,000 rubles in the case of civil servants. In the case of entities, the penalty rises to 5 million (more than 79,000 euros), Interfax agency reported.