It looks like Sir Elton John and Vladimir Putin might not be meeting after all
The Kremlin has announced that the two men will no longer meet to discuss Russia’s stance on LGBT rights.
Vladimir Putin will not meet Elton John when the singer visits Russia this month because there is no appropriate time in their schedules, the Kremlin has said.
However, a spokesperson added that the two men could still meet at a later date.
“We were in correspondence with him [Elton John] a couple of weeks ago, because there had been an agreement that, if their schedules allow, this meeting would take place.
“President Putin expressed readiness for this meeting. But this time, the meeting won’t take place, unfortunately,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with journalists.
“Their schedules do not match up. But this does not mean that such a meeting won’t take place next time.”
Sir Elton was embarrassed last year when he fell for a hoax orchestrated by two Russian TV pranksters – who called him pretending to be Putin.
Following the public fallout from the prank, Kremlin officials later 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 it was hoped it may take place this weekend, as he visits the country has part of his world tour.
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“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?” he said of the planned meet up.
“I will speak out. What are they going to do to me? If they shoot me, they shoot me. I don’t care.”
“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 added.
Last year, pop icon Madonna said she will never perform in Russia again, due to the country’s rampant homophobia.
“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,” she said.