14/06/2018 12:19 BST

Russian Politician Tamara Pletnyova Warns Women Not To Sleep With Foreigners During World Cup

'I’m not a nationalist, but..'

Anton Novoderezhkin via Getty Images
Russian State Duma member Tamara Pletnyova pictured in February.

A Russian politician has warned women not to have sex with non-white foreign men as they could become single mothers to mixed race children.

Tamara Pletnyova, who heads the parliament’s committee for families, women and children, said even if the relationship leads to marriage, it often ends badly as people are stranded abroad, or in Russia but unable to get their children back.

Her assertion was in response to a question from a radio station about the so-called “Children of the Olympics” after the Moscow Games in 1980 - a time when contraception was not widely available in the country, reports Reuters.

The term was used during the Soviet era to describe non-white children conceived at international events after relationships between Russian women and men from Africa, Latin America, or Asia.

Many of the children faced discrimination.

“We must give birth to our children. These (mixed race) kids suffer and have suffered since Soviet times,” Pletnyova told Govorit Moskva radio station.

“It’s one thing if they’re of the same race but quite another if they’re of a different race. I’m not a nationalist, but nevertheless I know that children suffer. They are abandoned, and that’s it, they stay here with mum,” she said.

PA Wire/PA Images
Fans in Moscow

Pletnyova said she that she would like Russian citizens to get married “out of love regardless of their ethnicity”.

Another lawmaker said foreign fans could bring viruses to the World Cup and infect Russians.

Talking to the same radio station, Alexander Sherin also said Russians should be careful in their interactions with foreigners as they might try to circulate banned substances at the tournament.

Thousands of football fans from 31 countries are travelling to the tournament, which kicks off on Thursday with an opening ceremony in Moscow, followed by a match between the host team and Saudi Arabia.

FIFA and the Russia 2018 organizing committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Pletynova’s remarks.

Pletnyova is a lawmaker for the KPRF Communist Party, a nominally opposition party that backs President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin on most key issues.

Russians make up the majority ethnicity in the country, but there are dozens of minority groups, as well as a large labor migrant force predominantly from Central Asia and the South Caucasus.