Russian President invites Bono to tea at his Black Sea dacha

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The Independent Online

The rock music-loving Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted the U2 frontman, Bono, at his holiday mansion near the Black Sea resort of Sochi yesterday, and praised him for writing music "that unites generations".

Dmitry Medvedev, a well-known fan of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, complimented the Irish singer, 50, for highlighting problems in Africa, such as poverty and the spread of HIV/Aids. "You are doing important things, because taking care of people is not only a job for politicians," said Mr Medvedev, 44. The President chatted in English with Bono, whose band will play their first-ever Russian concert at Moscow's Luzhniki sports stadium tonight as part of their "360 Degree" world tour.

Mr Medvedev, dressed in jeans and a grey shirt, and Bono, in his trademark dark glasses, stubble and earring, sipped tea on the verandah of his holiday villa, Bocharov Ruchei. "The charity work that you and your colleagues do has brought you respect all over the world," Mr Medvedev said.

Bono, a philanthropist whose humanitarian work has also included pushing rich nations to write off debts to poverty-stricken countries, told Mr Medvedev that spending 25p per day could eliminate the transfer of HIV from mother to child by 2015. The singer was photographed with the then-president Vladimir Putin at a G8 summit in Italy in 2001.