There are no gay people in Sochi says mayor
The mayor of Sochi, the Russian city set to host the Winter Olympics in two weeks has told the BBC there are no gay people in Sochi.
Anatoly Pakhomov, a member of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, made the comment after being asked by a BBC reporter if gay people in Sochi had to hide their sexuality.
Pakhomov replied: "No, we just say that it is your business, it's your life. But it's not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city."
Questioned by the reporter if he was certain there were no gay people in Sochi, Pakhomov admitted he was not sure but he didn’t “bloody know them”.
Pakhomov went on to tell the journalist everyone was welcome in Sochi – as long as they didn’t try to impose their ‘habits’ on others.
"Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian federation and who doesn't impose their habits and their will on others... But yes, everyone is welcome."
Upon hearing of Pakhomov’s comments opposition leader Boris Nemtsov responded there were several gay bars in Sochi. He laughingly questioned: "How do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt?"