13 Aug 2013

PM critical of Russia's anti-gay laws

10:32 pm on 13 August 2013

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key has criticised Russia's anti-gay laws and how they might affect the 2014 Winter Olympics.

John Key.

John Key. Photo: RNZ

Russia has recently passed a law imposing heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to young people - sparking calls to boycott the Games in Sochi.

The Russian government has said the laws will also apply to visitors and to athletes.

Mr Key said on Tuesday that New Zealand's concerns have been expressed to Russian officials by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

"It's our view that New Zealanders, irrelevant of what their sexual preferences are, should be able to go and compete in the Winter Games.

"We've made that point clear, and we select people on their ability on the sports field - not on what their sexual preferences are."

John Key said it doesn't matter whether someone is gay, but the Russians have a different view.