Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a 60 Minutes interview that his country supports LGBT rights, but refused to say how he feels about marriage equality.

When Charlie Rose asked Putin whether he applauds America and the Supreme Court's summer ruling which found that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, the Russian leader avoided the question and instead suggested that his country was better on LGBT rights than the United States.

“The problem of sexual minorities in Russia has been deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons, I believe, without any good basis,” he said.

In 2013, Putin signed a law that prohibits the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” to minors. The law effectively bans Gay Pride parades and public positive portrayals of people who are LGBT.

Putin said that in four U.S. states “homosexuality is a crime … but we don't have that.” (While such laws may remain on the books in some states, the Supreme Court stuck them down in 2003, making them unenforceable.)

“We have no persecution at all,” Putin said. “People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas.”

Putin went on to explain that his law was needed to protect children.

“I don't see anything undemocratic in this legal act,” he said. “I believe we should leave kids in peace. We should give them a chance to grow, help them to realize who they are and decide for themselves. Do they consider themselves a man or a woman? A female? A male? Do they want to live a normal, natural marriage or a non-traditional one? That's the only thing I wanted to talk about. I don't see here any infringement on the rights of gay people.”