On the eve of the World Cup, a Russian lawmaker urged the nation’s women to avoid sexual liaisons with foreigners of different races.
Tamara Pletnyova, a lawmaker in the Communist Party and head of a state congressional committee on children and family affairs, discouraged women from sleeping with foreigners visiting Moscow for the quadrennial international soccer tournament.
“There will be girls who meet men, and then they will give birth,” said Pletnyova, according to a translation by the Independent newspaper. “Maybe they will get married, maybe they won’t. But the kids will suffer, just like they suffered [in 1980],” she said during the radio interview.
The lawmaker was responding to a question from the radio host who mentioned children born out of wedlock following the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, according to the Reuters news agency.
“It is one thing if the parents are of the same race; quite another if they are of different races,” Pletnyova responded.
The Kremlin responded to Pletnyova’s pronouncement by urging women to make their own choices. “Russian women can probably manage their own affairs,” a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin told reporters. “They are the best women in the world.”
A spokeswoman for Pletnyova told The Washington Post that she was not able to immediately comment.
Moscow officials expect at least a million people to travel to the country for the tournament.