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A Russian lawmaker has this to say about romantic couplings between Russians and fans visiting the country for the World Cup soccer tournament:

More love. And more procreation.

Mikhail Degtyarov, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, made his comments on June 14 as the tournament got under way, and one day after another lawmaker offered a warning against Russian women having sex with foreign soccer fans.

"The more love stories we have connected with the world championship, the more people from different countries fall in love, the more children are born, the better," Degtyaryov was quoted by the state news agency TASS as saying.

"Many years from now, these children will remember that their parents' love story began during the 2018 World Cup," TASS also cited him as saying. "I hope to God there will be more love stories, more children, more mixed unions."

On June 13, in an interview with a Moscow radio station, Tamara Pletnyova, who heads a parliamentary committee on family and children affairs, warned of a possible rise in the number of single mothers following the World Cup.

She also suggested that should a Russian woman get pregnant, it would be better if the father of the child was "of the same race."

"If it's another race, then it's even worse," Pletnyova said. "We should give birth to our own children. I'm not a nationalist, but nonetheless. I know that the children suffer as well, and then they are abandoned and stay here with the mother."

Her comments kicked up a small furor as Russia made final preparations for the opening ceremony. They also elicited a comment from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"As for our Russian women, they will make their own judgments," Peskov said, according to the Interfax news agency. "They are wise women."

With reporting by TASS

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