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Elton John jokes he will ask to kiss Russian President Putin when they finally meet

Olivia Blair
Friday 02 December 2016 17:44 GMT
Elton John
Elton John (Getty)

Sir Elton John has been trying to have a sit-down with Vladimir Putin for a very long time now.

The British singer and LGBT activist first pleaded for a diplomatic conversation with the Russian president in 2015 over the country’s poor gay rights record.

However, while diary clashes and prank calls prevented that from happening, the "Candle in the Wind" singer says he is still vying for the meeting and has joked what he might say when it actually happens.

“I’m very hopeful it will happen but he is a busier man than I am,” Sir Elton told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“What are you going to say to him?” Derbyshire asked.

“Give us a kiss,” Sir Elton replied before bursting out laughing.

Last year, Sir Elton was duped into thinking he was on a call with the Russian premier, when it was actually the work of two radio television personalities pulling a prank.

Mr Putin later telephoned Sir Elton, who has a large fanbase in the country, over the mishap and agreed to speak to him one day. In May, fresh hopes for a meeting, while John was performing in Moscow, were dashed when Mr Putin's schedule would not allow it.

Sir Elton had previously met with Ukranian president Petro Poroshenko to talk about “the importance of legislative changes to support LGBT rights” in Ukraine.

The 69-year-old was speaking to the BBC programme along with his husband David Furnish in a discussion to mark World Aids Day.

The couple, who are at the forefront of the fight against Aids and HIV with the Elton John Aids foundation, stressed that while there has been vast medical advances in recent years, stigma remains one of the biggest hurdles to curing the disease.

“Stigma is a much more difficult thing to shift,” Furnish with Sir Elton describing it as the “biggest obstacle” to curing Aids.

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