Vladimir Putin said his skills as a "judo master" will protect him from bathroom predators.
The bizarre statement came during an interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone, who asked the Russian president what he would do if a gay man would shower next to him in a submarine.
"Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him," Putin said with a laugh in a preview of the four-part Showtime interview, as reported in The Daily Beast. "Why provoke him? But you know, I'm a judo master and a SAMBO master as well."
"And I can tell you this," he added, "that as head of state today, I believe it's my duty to uphold traditional values and family values. But why? Because same-sex marriages will not produce any children. God has decided, and we have to care about birth rates in our country. We have to reinforce families. But that doesn't mean that there should be any persecutions against anyone."
Putin has been criticized by human rights activists and German President Angela Merkel for failing to respond to reports that gay and bisexual men were being murdered in Chechnya, a republic controlled by Russia. Russia's own "gay propaganda" law, which prohibits the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors, has also been decried as discriminatory by the international community. The law has been used as a justification to stop Pride events, protests, and even LGBT-friendly emojis on smartphones.
In his conversation with Stone, Putin said "there are no restrictions whatsoever" on gay people in Russia. He contrasted the state of LGBT rights with the situation in predominantly Muslim nations that impose the death penalty fot same-sex love.
Putin also disparaged women in the interview.
"I am not a woman, so I don't have bad days," he said, referring to menstrual cycles. "I am not trying to insult anyone. That's just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles."
The Putin Interviews debuts Monday on Showtime. Watch the clip below.