Russian officials have refused to sign onto an endorsement of gay rights made in a joint statement by G8 foreign ministers.

The statement from the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair was released Thursday following a meeting in Washington.

“The ministers reaffirmed that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all individuals, male and female, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals. These individuals often face death, violence, harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation in many countries around the world.”

A footnote to the document added that Russia disagreed with the statement.

“[T]he Russia Federation disassociates itself from this language given the absence of any explicit definition or provision relating to such a group or such persons as separate rights holders under international human rights law.”

The Wall Street Journal quoted Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that “under the pretext of protecting the so-called sexual minorities, in effect there's aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.”

The move comes just a week after St. Petersburg police made their first arrests under a law approved in February which outlaws “homosexual propaganda” directed at minors, effectively banning Gay Pride parades and gay rights demonstrations.

A similar bill has been introduced in Russia's lower house of parliament.