This year’s favourite to win, Russia’s Eurovision entrant, Sergey Lazarev has said that if Russia wins the contest then the country will welcome and be supportive of the gay community.
During a press conference, Sergey was asked: “The majority of the Eurovision audience is part of the LGBT community. A lot of people are afraid of coming to Russia – is it safe for them to come for the Eurovision next year?”
Sergey replied: “Gay life exists in Russia, it’s not a secret. We’re a modern country, all cities have gay life, we have gay clubs – you can Google it and see how many gay clubs in Russia we have.”
“I think if Eurovision will come to Russia, it will be very supportive for the gay community in Russia.”
He continued: “I think that you have to come and see – we hosted the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and it was amazing. A lot of different people came to Sochi: different nationalities and sexual orientations, and had a great time there.”
“They had fun, and there was no problem there. We hosted Eurovision in 2009 and it was also so good and everybody came and had fun. It will happen again if Russia wins. I’m praying for that with all Russians, because all Russians love Eurovision. We really want to host it.”
He says that Russia will do what’s best for their guests.
“We do our best for our guests, for sure. You can feel safe in our country. If we do something, we do it the best way.”
He also explains how Russia’s weather isn’t as bad as everyone thinks.
“Sochi is not that cold, it’s pretty warm, really warm! Russia is a beautiful country, a big and amazing country – you have to visit our country for sure.”
The Eurovision Song Contest airs tonight (May 14) at 8pm on BBC One.
You can watch a video of Sergey’s performance below: