In 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy lobbied the then Russian President Vladimir Putin on the “violent repression of a recent gay rights parade in Moscow”, it has emerged through a leaked memo from the US Embassy in Paris to the State Department in Washington.

The memo followed a dinner meeting on the evening of June 12, 2007, between Under Secretary Burns from the US Department of State and Gerard Araud, the political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with their respective officials.

Damien Loras, Americas Advisor at the Elysee, is reported as saying in the leaked secret memo, published on WikiLeaks, that in a meeting between the presidents of France and Russia, “Sarkozy [was] seeking to develop a positive relationship with Putin, but without significant success to date. In their meeting, Sarkozy had raised with Putin human rights concerns, including the situation in Chechnya, the violent repression of a recent gay rights parade in Moscow, and the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya. Putin reacted by attacking human rights (prison conditions) in France”.

This meeting was shortly after violence erupted at Moscow Gay Pride on May 27, 2007, with UK human rights activist Peter Tatchell a victim of unprovoked violence when he was pinched in the face by an anti-gay thug who the police could not identify despite TV footage and press agency photos of the assault.

Among those also attending were Volker Beck, the German MP who was arrested by the police, MEPs Sophie In’t Veld (Netherlands) and Marco Cappato (Italy – arrested), and Italian transgender MP and actress Vladimir Luxuria.

Nikolai Alekseev said today that French journalists had told him that President Sarkozy had mentioned the Moscow Pride 2007 violent to President Putin.

“Now we’ve got official confirmation of this information in the US memos published on the WikiLeaks site,” he told UK Gay News this afternoon.

“Hopefully in the near future this Website will other material related to questions of violations of the rights of sexual minorities in Russia, and the role of individual politicians in this matter,” he added.

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