Sir Elton John plans to ‘tread carefully’ with Vladimir Putin
Sir Elton John does not want to anger the Russian leader when the pair meet to discuss 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.
The openly-gay Rocket Man singer has been trying to schedule a face-to-face conversation with the leader since.
Discussing what he will say when the meeting eventually takes place, Sir Elton acknowledged he is no politician – so must tread carefully in order to win the Putin over.
“The only way is dialogue. I am not a politician. I try to help in other ways. It is not going to change overnight,” he declared during a speech at Oxford University on Saturday (November 7).
“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.”
Instead, Sir Elton says he hopes to try and relate to the Russian leader through safer discussion topics – such as sport and, unsurprisingly, music.
“I will talk to him about being gay. I tried hard to be heterosexual like almost every gay man of my generation,” he said.
“If being a gay man is a choice there would be hardly any gay people. All I can say to Putin is put my opinion across (sic).
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“Sport and music are great levellers. Sport breaks down so many barriers,” he continued.
“I will probably talk to him about music and sport and gradually get to the nitty gritty, but I am not going to say you have to do this and have to do that, I don’t even know the man so you start by being nice.
“I will say ‘your greatest classical composer Tchaikovsky was a gay man’.”
Sir Elton may want to schedule the meeting quickly – after it was announced that Russian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would criminalise any “demonstration of one’s distorted sexual preferences in public places.”
The new law would make any public display of “non-traditional sexual relations” (any public affection between gay people) an offence that could lead to 15 days in prison and a fine.