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Vladimir Putin Calls Elton John — For Real This Time

Vladimir Putin Calls Elton John — For Real This Time

Vladimir Putin and Elton John

A week after the singer got a call from a fake Putin, the Russian president phones him and offers a meeting on any topic John chooses.

Vladimir Putin has phoned Sir Elton John and offered to meet with him about the state of LGBT rights in Russia or any other subject -- for real this time, Reuters reports.

John, who has often expressed opposition to Russia's nationwide ban on so-called gay propaganda and general anti-LGBT climate, said during a recent visit to Ukraine that he'd like to discuss those matters with the Russian president. Last week, he got a call from two men claiming to be Putin and his spokesman-interpreter -- but they were really Russian comedians playing a joke.

But the real Putin called the music star and activist today, according to Reuters. A spokesman for John confirmed the call to Rolling Stone.

"Putin phoned him," Russian presidential aide Dmitry Peskov told reporters from Reuters and other outlets. "He said: 'I know some guys played a trick on you on the phone, but don't get offended. They are harmless people, though that of course does not justify what they did.'"

Putin told John he'd be willing to meet with him to talk about any subject the musician desired, if both of their schedules can accommodate it, Peskov said.

In 2013, Putin signed Russia's ban on purported propaganda of "nontraditional sexual relations" in arenas visible to minors, effectively prohibiting any positive mention of LGBT people or issues concerning them in public venues or media outlets. The president has also made offensive comments about LGBT people (and was named The Advocate's "Person of the Year" in 2014), although he contends he's not prejudiced, and previously stated he would like to meet John.

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