Vladimir Putin has come under fire for suggesting that liberalism is ‘obsolete’ and has outlived its purpose.
The Russian President also suggested that LGBT rights are ‘overshadowing’ culture, traditions and traditional family values, as well as saying migrants can “kill, plunder and rape with impunity”.
In an interview with the Financial Times ahead of the G20 summit, Mr Putin said: “The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population”.
He said: “[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done.”
He also said while Russia had “no problems with LGBT persons”….“some things do appear excessive to us”.
“They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles,” Mr Putin said.
“Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”
During the interview, the Russian leader also praised Donald Trump for his attempts to stop migrants entering the US from Mexico.
He said liberalism: “presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected”.
His comments have prompted anger from European Union president Donald Tusk, who hit out at the Russian president to reporters and via Twitter.
Mr Tusk said: “We are here as Europeans also to firmly and unequivocally defend and promote liberal democracy.”
He said Mr Putin’s comments suggested a belief that: “freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete”.
He added: “What I find really obsolete are: authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs. Even if sometimes they may seem effective.”
Mr Putin met Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20 summit in Osaka in what was seen by many as a frosty meeting.
The prime minister insisted the relationship between London and Moscow could not return to “business as usual”, while the suspects from the Novichok poisoning attacks in Salisbury remain free.
She said: “It’s not business as usual and it can’t be business as usual with Russia until they stop the sort of acts we have seen them doing around the world.”