Russia: Lawmaker accuses Madonna and Lady Gaga of breaking visa conditions and says Russian performances were illegal
A Russian lawmaker has taken aim at Madonna and Lady Gaga, claiming that they violated their visa conditions when they performed shows in Russia, and that collecting money from their shows was therefore illegal.
Vitaly Milonov, of the Prosecutor General’s Office said that the two stars had broken the terms of their visas when they performed shows in Russia.
The St Petersburg lawmaker, one of the sponsors of the city’s law which prohibits homosexual “propaganda”, requested an assessment of whether either singer violated immigration or tax laws while in Russia, back in August 2012.
He believes that the visa issued to Madonna exempt her from collecting money from her shows while performing there, and said that for her show in St Petersburg she received $1.1 million (£720,000).
The Prosecutor General’s office issued a response pertaining to both stars, saying: “The visas issued were of the basic cultural exchange sort, which does not grant their bearers the right to engage in any commercial activity.”
The document goes on to say that the Foreign Ministry and the Federal Migration Service may take action upon the findings, if prosecutors decide to forward the information on.
Milonov in December announced that he had filed an application specifically regarding Lady Gaga, claiming that her concern “promoted”, homosexuality among children, that she slandered Russia. and that she incorrectly displayed the Russian flag.
The legislation attracted large-scale media attention in November, when a group of Russian people filed a civil lawsuit against Madonna for similar reasons. They argued that by passing out pink arm bands and encouraging the audience to accept gay people, the Express Yourself singer violated the law.
She also issued a message of support for the imprisoned LGBT-supporting feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Nine plaintiffs said they were “desperate” to make the Material Girl pay for their “moral suffering” following her performance in the city during August 2012.The charges were later dropped.
Ahead of a performance last month, it was suggested that Sir Elton John’s outfits constitute homosexual “propaganda”, and that he should have worn traditional Russian dress instead, including ”knee-length kaftan, a fur hat and leather boots.”
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