- 16 Sep 15
The singer claims the Russian president reached out to him over the phone following comments made in a BBC interview.
Elton John was in Eastern Europe yesterday to discuss LGBT rights with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko at the YESUkraine 2015 Conference in Kiev. The main points discussed were plans to ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexuality and gender identity and to provide criminal penalties for hate crimes.
While there the much-loved singer and outspoken gay rights advocate posted this picture to instagram:
John’s claims have since been denied by Russian Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov in a statement that said, “I don’t doubt that if there is such a request, the president will be ready to meet with Elton John among others to give answers to all the questions that he might ask, but we haven’t received such signals yet.”
The singer has been openly critical about the apparent intolerance of the Russian state towards the LGBT community and has campaigned to end the country’s 2013 legislation, which bans the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.”
While performing in Saint Petersburg in 2014, John criticised the law, which some believe legitimises institutionalized homophobia, for its impact on the gay community, saying to the audience, "You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia."