The comments, made the day before the international soccer tournament is set to begin in Russia, come from Tamara Pletnyova; the Russian politician who oversees that country’s Family, Women, and Children Affairs Committee in the lower house of parliament.
Speaking with a Moscow radio station, Pletnyova said that the World Cup presented a danger in that it could lead to a rise in the number of single mothers.
“These children suffer and have suffered, even since Soviet times,” she told Govorit Moskva.
The prospect of a child being fathered by a foreigner poses even greater dangers, according to Pletnyova.
“If it’s another race, then it’s even worse,” Pletnyova continued. “We should give birth to our own children. I’m not a nationalist, but nonetheless. I know that the children suffer as well, and then they are abandoned and stay here with the mother.”
Pletnyova cautioned that even if a Russian woman married the foreign father of her child, problems could still arise if they become estranged.
“Then they come to me at the committee and cry that the child was taken away, removed, and so forth. I would like people to get married based on love in our country, regardless of which ethnicity, [to] Russian citizens who would build a good family, live in harmony, have children, and raise them.”
Pletnyova has made controversial statements regarding sex in the past. According to RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty:
In March, [Pletnyova] expressed support for comments by Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, in which he told female journalists who cover the legislature to change jobs if they face sexual harassment from lawmakers.
‘I would like to say that these girl journalists should look more decent, put clothes on themselves when entering a state building, instead of having their belly buttons naked,’ Pletnyova said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio. ‘Volodin is right and I fully support him. If they are scared and are offended, they should not come here.’
Volodin’s remarks followed sexual harassment accusations made by female journalists against senior Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky.
World Cup play begins on Thursday, with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia.