The Russian government has told the IOC it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending its law against gay “propaganda.”

The IOC received a letter on Thursday from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving assurances the host country will comply with the Olympic Charter’s provision against discrimination of any kind.

The law has caused an international backlash ahead of the Feb. 7-23 Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.

Kozak says the law applies equally to everyone and “cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge says “we have received strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation.”

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