Russian women should refrain from sleeping with visiting World Cup fans to avoid becoming single mothers with mixed-race children, a lawmaker who heads the parliament’s family committee has advised.
Tamara Pletnyova, a 70-year-old Communist who leads the lower house’s family, women and children body, told Govorit Moskva radio she hoped women would not date visiting fans and get pregnant.
The World Cup hosted by Russia could boost the number of young women falling pregnant, the top politician warned, adding: ‘I hope they get something clear in their heads regarding foreigners.
‘Will there still be girls who will date foreigners and then have children from them Perhaps there will be some, but I am hoping not.’
Pletnyova claimed lessons should be learned from the USSR era when some local women became pregnant after having then-unusual relationships with foreigners at the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Asked if the World Cup could cause a spike in Russia’s birth rate – a key goal for President Vladimir Putin – Pletnyova replied: ‘We should be giving birth to our own children.’
Children who are mixed-race are likely to be brought up in one-parent families, she warned.
‘It’s the children who suffer… and have suffered since the Soviet era. It’s lucky if they’re the same race (as the mother) but if they’re of another race, it’s worse,’ the Siberian-born politician said.
Stating that she was ‘not a nationalist’, Pletnyova added, ‘nonetheless, I know how children suffer later on. They are being dumped and this is it. They have to stay here with mothers.’
Urging women to marry ‘Russian citizens’ instead, she said that children risked being ‘abandoned and just left with their mother’ or being taken abroad by their fathers.
She said: ‘Even if [the men] marry [the mother], they take her away (from Russia) and she doesn’t know how to get back.
‘Then they come to see me at parliament and cry that their children were taken away, snatched from them.
‘I would have liked people in our country marry for love, regardless of nationality.’
Couples should ‘both be citizens of Russia who build a good family, live peacefully and in a friendly way and bring up children together,’ she went on.
However, her comments drew both criticism and ridicule.
‘I wonder what Pletnyova will say when she’s reminded of Say No to Racism,’ wrote radio journalist Tatyana Felgenhauer on Twitter, in reference to FIFA’s long-running anti-racism campaign.
Pletnyova previously criticised the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment, tentatively spreading in Russia.
‘We’re not in America or Europe. Why should we copy everything? If a woman doesn’t want it, no one is going to harass her,’ she told Gazeta.ru news site in February.
Russia expects to host about one million foreigners at the World Cup matches.
Pletynova has been an MP since the first post-Soviet parliament in 1993.