Cities in Italy are cancelling their 'twin' status with St Petersburg over anti-gay laws.
While Milan's city hall has already passed a bill with a majority vote, officials in Venice and Turin are in the process of cutting ties with the Russian city which passed legislation that imposes fines for spreading homosexual 'propaganda'.
According to Venezia Today, the decision by Italian authorities was sparked by protests from activists against the ban on public discussion of gay issues to protect children from positive messages about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
However, Russian officials have remained defiant against the move.
Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, from the ruling United Russia party, told RIA Novosti: 'There must be a lot of socialists in Milan city council.
'It’s a great shame that a city like Milan would take a decision like this. Of course, it’s hard for many of our European colleagues to accept our law, as many of them are members of the gay lobby.'
St Petersburg officials said they have not received any notices from Milan City Hall or Italian diplomats.