Calls for Glasgow to sever ties with Russian twin city

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GLASGOW lord provost Sadie Docherty has written to her Russian counterpart over controversial anti-gay legislation — but says she will not sever ties with the country.

The provost — a southside councillor — sent a letter to mayor Michael Chernyshev, referring to the twinning of his city Roston on Don and Glasgow in 1986.

She wrote: “I greatly value our twinning link and the opportunities it brings. However, recently there has been a lot of media coverage about the Russian government’s legislation in relation to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities as well as homophobic incidents.

“Because of this, I am writing to express my concerns about the way people in Russia are being treated as a result of this legislation. We would hope that any city that we have a relationship with would uphold people’s human rights and treat them with dignity.”

The letters follows a petition from Glasgow’s LGBT community and supporters (reaching 800 signatures this week) calling for the lord provost to sever ties with Russia following a ban on what it calls ‘homosexual propoganda’.

However, councillor Docherty has stated that Glasgow city council will not put an end to the 27 year relationship — instead, the letter invites “an open dialogue” on the subject.

A statement from petition organiser Nancy Clench has this week called for the lord provost to postpone an upcoming visit to Russia.

She said: “Councillor Docherty must come out in solidarity with a community that is rightly angry and distressed by their treatment in Russia, and must postpone her visit.

“Glasgow must lead the way, and ultimately end the twinning agreement, while joining with LGBT organisations in the province to provide support and solidarity.”

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