St. Petersburg, November 30, Interfax - The foreign relations chief in the administration of St. Petersburg has denied allegations in Italian media that Milan is severing its twinned-city relations with Russia's second city because of a new St. Petersburg law that penalizes the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.
"Yesterday I had a call from the Italian consul general in St. Petersburg, Mr. Estero, who said that that decision is not legally binding on the administration of Milan. It's a kind of emotional expression on the part of the deputies," Alexander Prokhorenko told reporters in reference to a vote in the Italian city's municipal council.
"As far as we know from the press, we have received no documents from the Milan municipal council. It's true that it passed some kind of decision, but not to sever but to freeze [the relationship], or something in that vein," Prokhorenko said.
He denied that the homosexuality law violated anyone's rights. "The city deputies are not encroaching on human rights, they are simply trying to take care that the rights of those who want to promote non-traditional views on human relationships shouldn't violate the rights of those who don't want this," he said.