Unlike some other heads of state, Angela Merkel is unafraid to discuss LGBT rights with the president of Russia.
The German chancellor, during a rare trip to the Eastern European nation, revealed that she discussed the reported torturing and killing of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya with Vladmir Putin. Merkel also addressed last weekend's anti-Kremlin demonstration, the largest in five years, in which hundreds were arrested.
"I have, in my talks with the Russian president, indicated how important is the right to demonstrate in a civil society and how important the role of [nongovernmental organizations] is," Merkel said at a Sochi press conference, reports The New York Times.
"I also spoke about the very negative report about what is happening to homosexuals in Chechnya and asked Mr. President to exert his influence to ensure that minorities' rights are protected," she added.