“It’s what I saw in Sweden last year when I was attending a session of the OSCE Council of Ministers,” Lavrov told the audience at Primakov Readings, a forum dedicated to the memory of Yevgeny Primakov.
“I asked where the toilet was in the break, and I was shown a door with the words “WC”. I asked ‘is that the ladies or the gents?’, and I was told, ‘it’s for everyone’. I couldn’t believe it but that’s really how it was. You cannot imagine how inhuman this is.”.
Lavrov’s statement came at the end of a diatribe against Western gender identity politics, in which he claimed that in the US and Europe “the diversity of genders has now exceeded 80”.
The section was first picked up by Francis Carr, a Russia specialist at BBC Monitoring.
“Once a fearsome diplomat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is now complaining about gender-neutral toilets in Sweden,” Scarr tweeted.
Once a fearsome diplomat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is now complaining about gender-neutral toilets in Sweden pic.twitter.com/Bbd2sUN68J
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) December 7, 2022
Unsurprisingly to those who know the country well, the main reaction on Swedish Twitter was to criticise the standards of plumbing in Russia, rather than to focus on Lavrov’s views on gender identity.
“It’s pretty rich of Lavrov to whine about there being gender-equal toilets in Sweden at the same time as one in four Russians aren’t connected to the sewage system and one in every ten lacks an indoor toilet,” Victor Rundqvist, a Centre Party county councillor from Halmstad, in a typical tweet.
Yevgeny Primakov was a former Russian prime minister, foreign minister, and KGB foreign intelligence chief.
Massive thanks to whoever captioned the photograph here. You’ve made my day.