Sir Elton John and Vladimir Putin planning to fix a date to discuss LGBT rights
Sir Elton John has confirmed he is planning to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to open a dialogue on LGBT rights.
The veteran singer, who has a large following in Russia, fell victim to a hoax earlier this year when he asked President Putin to meet with him to discuss his country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law and persecution of LGBT people.
After he was subjected to a hoax call from a fake Putin, the real Putin got in touch to discuss LGBT rights – and offered to meet with the singer in future.
Speaking to CNBC, Sir Elton said: “I’ve talked to him on the telephone – we’re trying to arrange a date when I can go to Moscow and talk to him.”
Speaking to Russian news agency TASS, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that after the hoax call, the Kremlin had to go above and beyond to convince Sir Elton that the real Putin did want to talk.
He said: “At first [Sir Elton John] hesitated.
“We decided to ask Russian Ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko to get in touch with the musician and tell him about the phone call.
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“In the beginning, Yakovenko had certain problems to explain to the musician that he was really the Russian ambassador and that the real president of Russia wanted to talk to him.”
Sir Elton added: “I feel very honoured that he wants to see me and he’s put the olive branch out and it’s essential that I do go over there and just put my foot in the water and see what we can do change the situation for LGBT people in Russia.
“Even though the Russians say it’s great it is very very, it’s not great at all. But you know, as I said, I want to try and knock the wall down a little bit, so I will be trying to go and see him.
“He was very pleasant on the phone, he apologised for the fake interview I did. He was very genial and I was very very impressed.”