Rus­sian of­fi­cial urges love af­ter back­lash

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS - (AP)

RUS­SIAN women and vis­it­ing World Cup soc­cer fans: be fruit­ful and mul­ti­ply.

Af­ter a law­maker caused a back­lash on so­cial me­dia by ad­vis­ing Rus­sian women against get­ting in­volved with for­eign soc­cer fans, one of her col­leagues is urg­ing love and pro­cre­ation dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

“The more love sto­ries we have con­nected to the world cham­pi­onship, the more peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries fall in love, the more chil­dren are born, the bet­ter,” state news agency Tass quoted par­lia­ment mem­ber Mikhail Degt­yaryov as telling re­porters yes­ter­day.

Degt­yaryov ap­peared to be do­ing dam­age con­trol af­ter law­maker Ta­mara Plet­ny­ova warned Rus­sian women on Wed­nes­day to think twice be­fore en­ter­ing into ca­sual re­la­tion­ships with for­eign tourists be­cause they may end up rear­ing their chil­dren alone. Plet­ny­ova, who heads a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on chil­dren and fam­i­lies, also sug­gested that Rus­sian women should marry lo­cal men and said that chil­dren born from mixed-race mar­riages are un­happy.

The com­ments prompted crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia, with some say­ing that Plet­ny­ova’s views were racist and ar­chaic.

Degt­yaryov, who heads a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee over­see­ing sports, pro­moted a to­tally op­po­site view yes­ter­day.

“Many years from now these chil­dren will re­mem­ber that their par­ents’ love story be­gan dur­ing the World Cup in Rus­sia in 2018,” Degt­yaryov said, ac­cord­ing to Tass. “I hope to God that there would be more love sto­ries, more chil­dren, more mixed unions.”

The Krem­lin weighed in, re­luc­tantly, on the con­tro­versy.

Asked about Plet­ny­ova’s com­ments, Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told re­porters yes­ter­day that the Krem­lin has noth­ing to do with the mat­ter.

“As for our Rus­sian women, they will make their own judg­ment,” Peskov said. “They are the best women in the world.”

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