Vladimir Putin has pencilled in a tentative date for his long-awaited meeting with Sir Elton John.
Sir Elton was embarrassed last year when he fell for a hoax orchestrated by two Russian TV pranksters – who called him pretending to be Vladimir Putin.
However, after public fallout from the prank, Kremlin officials confirmed the real President Putin would indeed be willing to meet with Sir Elton – who has an extremely large Russian following.
Sir Elton has spoken repeatedly about the planned meeting since – and this week, the Kremlin announced a potential date.
According to Reuters, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed to reporters: “When they spoke by telephone several months ago, they agreed … they will meet during Elton John’s stay in Moscow.
“Such a meeting cannot be excluded, if there are precise dates of [Sir Elton’s] stay here and if the president’s working schedule allows it.”
Sir Elton is scheduled to play in St Petersburg on May 28, and Moscow on May 30 – meaning the meeting would take place on May 30 or June 1.
Sir Elton said previously: “Soon I’m going to go to Moscow to talk to him face to face over a cup of tea — what’s the worst that can happen?
“It’s not just gay rights. I’ll take on anything and go anywhere to help those in need. I am not afraid.
“I will speak out. What are they going to do to me? If they shoot me, they shoot me. I don’t care.
“I am a fan of the human being. I don’t like seeing dead children washed up on the beaches of Europe. But I am an optimist. There’s more good in this world than bad.”
He said: “The only way is dialogue. I am not a politician. I try to help in other ways. It is not going to change overnight.
The singer joked: “I am not going to say to Vladimir Putin, ‘Hey Vladimir you have got to f**king change this’. Or I will get a quick Polonium injection and I will be f**ked.”