Madonna: I’ll never perform in Russia again
The star has said that it is unlikely she will return due to the country’s treatment of the LGBT community.
The singer made the comments in an interview to promote her upcoming tour, which begins in September.
The tour will involve concerts in 35 cities across North America, Europe and Australia.
However, the singer has stated that Russia will not be on that list, reports The Moscow Times.
“I won’t appear in Moscow or St Petersburg anymore, because I don’t want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime,” said the singer.
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Conservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov – infamous for his anti-LGBT views – responded swiftly to Madonna’s statement.
In an interview to Russian News Agency, Milonov called the singer a “hypocritical old lady” and accused her of prioritising gay rights over the lives of children suffering because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The singer has previously accused Vladimir Putin’s regime of showing “blatant intolerance of gay rights, artistic freedom, freedom of speech, and human rights in general.”
Speaking about the arrest of pro-gay band Pussy Riot members in 2012, she said: “I was shocked and outraged when I heard about this, and I spoke about it openly on stage [in Moscow] during my show.
“For this I received several death threats.
“What I realised when I went to Russia, and saw what was going on with Pussy Riot, and what was going on with the gay community, was how lucky I was and am to live in a country where I can speak my mind.
“It’s time for the rest of the world to be as brave as Pussy Riot, to stand up against people like President Putin that do not respect human rights, and perpetuate oppression, discrimination, and injustice of any kind.
“We all have a moral obligation to stand up for anyone who’s being persecuted, whether it’s down the street from us, or on the other side of the world.”