Two dancers from Britain's top ballet company are boycotting a working trip to Russia later this year (14) over the country's stance on gay rights.

The Royal Ballet company is heading to Moscow to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre as part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 celebrations.

However, two members have refused to take part due to Russia's strict anti-gay laws. Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in the 1990s, but new legislation was introduced last year (13) banning the dissemination of gay propaganda to minors.

A statement from the Royal Ballet reads: "Out of the 96-strong dancers in The Royal Ballet, just two dancers have chosen not to go on tour to Moscow for political reasons.

"On any overseas tour, there are inevitably some dancers who are not required in the repertory being taken on tour, or who have family or other commitments that do not allow them to go overseas for the duration of the tour."