John Baird, Canada's foreign affairs minister, on Thursday blasted Russia's anti-gay law.

Russia's “gay propaganda” law, signed last month by President Vladimir Putin, prohibits the public promotion of gay rights in venues where minors might be present, effectively shutting down Gay Pride marches and similar demonstrations.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Baird said that the Canadian government had lobbied Russian lawmakers not to enact the law.

“This mean-spirited and hateful law will affect all Russians 365 days of the year, every year,” Baird said. “It is an incitement to intolerance, which breeds hate. And intolerance and hate breed violence.”

He added that Canada, along with its allies, would pressure Russia to repeal the measure.

Referring to the possibility that the law could be applied to athletes and spectators at next year's Olympics in Sochi, Baird said that the law “flies in the face of the entire Olympic spirit.”

(Related: Gay rights activists dump Russian vodka outside consulate to protest new laws.)