Elton John Thanks Vladimir Putin At Russia Concert
While Elton John didn't get to meet President Putin during his fleeting visit, due to conflicting schedules, the veteran performer has been in talks with senior aides about meeting with him to discuss discrimination against homosexual and transgender people in Russia.
Elton has been a vocal critic of a 2013 Russian law banning the distribution of gay "propaganda" and alleged promotion of "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors.
During his performance on Monday before an enthusiastic crowd at the Moscow's Crocus City Hall, the British rock star thanked Putin for inviting him to "discuss some serious issues in Russia".
"As some of you may know I hope to meet with President Putin on this trip and although it wasn't possible I'm deeply grateful to him for inviting me to discuss some serious issues in Russia with him including LGBT and HIV and AIDs. I very much hope we will find time in future to meet and discuss," he shared as he expressed his hopes for an eventual meeting.
A spokesman for the Russian government confirmed ahead of Elton's arrival that the pair would not meet due to "schedules not matching up."
After Elton, 69, spoke with Putin last year the singer told the BBC: "He (Putin) was very affable, he was very apologetic, he was very sincere. As soon as I can get a date in my diary that coincides with him, then I will be going... to Moscow and I will meet him."