Media reports say Russia's Supreme Court ruled on November 30 that LGBT activists should be designated as "extremists".

The ruling, which the judge said would be effective immediately, did not specify whether certain individuals or organizations would be affected.

Russia media report that the hearing reportedly took place behind closed doors and without any defense present.  Reporters were reportedly allowed in to hear the decision.

The presiding judge announced that he had endorsed a request from the justice ministry to ban what it called "the international LGBT social movement".

Kremlin spokesman Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters before the court decision was announced that the Kremlin was “not following” the case and had no comment on it.

The move is part of a pattern of increasing restrictions in Russia on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity, including laws outlawing the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relations and banning legal or medical changes of gender.

In July, lawmakers banned medical intervention and administrative procedures outlawing gender reassignment.

Lawmaker Pyotr Tolstoy said at the time that the measure was about “erecting a barrier to the penetration of Western anti-family ideology”.

Last November, lawmakers also approved a bill banning all forms of LGBTQ “propaganda”, a move with far-reaching consequences for book publishing and film distribution.

Meanwhile, some Western media say representatives of gay and transgender people fear that the move will lead to arrests and prosecutions.

Amnesty International called the ruling “shameful and absurd,” warning in a statement that it might result in a blanket ban on LGBTQ organizations and violate freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly.