Elton John will not meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss gay rights

Last year, Sir Elton was targeted by pranksters pretending to be the Russian leader

Olivia Blair@livblair
Saturday 28 May 2016 17:00
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Elton John performs
Elton John performs

Sir Elton John will not meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss gay rights concerns when he visits the country this month.

In September, the ‘Candle in the Wind’ singer said he wanted to sit down with the Russian president to discuss his concerns over gay rights in the country. In 2013, Russia introduced a much-condemned law which makes it illegal to teach those under 18 about LGBT communities. Sir Elton hoped the chat might come to fruition after he sat down with President Petro Poroshenko to discuss gay rights in Ukraine.

After Sir Elton expressed an initial desire to meet Mr Putin last year he fell victim to a highly-publicised hoax phone call by Russian radio presenters pretending to be Mr Putin. Sir Elton responded by saying while pranks may be funny, homophobia is not. However, after the mishap, Mr Putin’s spokesperson told Russian press the president has contacted Sir Elton and offered to meet with him at some point.

As Sir Elton is visiting the country to perform in Moscow this month some thought the occasion might be then, however Mr Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists this week that both men’s schedules were too busy.

“We were in correspondence with him [Sir Elton] 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,” Mr Peskov said. “Their schedules do not match up. But the does not mean that such a meeting won’t take place next time.”

Sir Elton will perform in Moscow on May 30 as part of his world tour.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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