New York: Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back at reports claiming that he is homophobic, saying that he works with gay people.
In an interview with Russia`s state Channel 1 television, Putin discussed a wide range of issues, including disputes over the Syrian civil war, his relations with President Barack Obama, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and the rights of gays in Russia, the New York Post reported.
He said that he has given many awards to gays, including state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields.
He asserted that he has absolutely normal relations with them.
He also referred to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was a homosexual, saying that people don`t love him because of his sexuality, but because he was a great musician.