Obama meets Russian LGBT activists amid crackdown
SAINT PETERSBURG (AFP) - United States (US) President Barack Obama on Friday met Russian gay rights activists after the G-20 summit, in a symbol of US support for the community amid a furore over an "anti-gay" Russian law.
Two gay rights activists were among a group of nine Russian civil society members Mr Obama briefly met before leaving Russia, and asked the US leader to take a tougher stance on rights violations in the country.
Speaking to the group after the end of the two-day summit hosted by President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg at a hotel near the airport where his plane was waiting, Mr Obama said he is "very proud" of the activists' work.
"The kinds of activities that are represented here are critically important to Russia's development," Mr Obama said.