Plans for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with Sir Elton John when the singer visits Russia this month have been postponed, according to a statement released by the Kremlin.
The statement affirms that the meeting cannot take place as there is no appropriate time in the two men’s schedules. Mr Putin had phoned the legendary singer in September to express his readiness to meet and discuss “any issues of interest” to Sir Elton.
“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 stated, adding that “this does not mean that such a meeting won’t take place next time”.
The singer had previously been the victim of a hoax, in which two Russian TV presenters prank called him, tricking him into thinking he was speaking with Mr Putin. Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, posed as Mr Putin and Mr Peskov ringing to discuss LGBT rights with the singer.
Sir Elton expressed his wish to meet with the Russian President after speaking in Ukraine at the YES Ukraine 2015 conference on LGBT rights on 12 September, where he lobbied Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the issue.