Artist News

Vladimir Putin denies phone chat with Elton John

By | Published on Wednesday 16 September 2015

Elton John

Thanks to Elton John, I now know that Vladimir Putin has an official Instagram account, and that he has been hanging out with Silvio Berlusconi of late. Watch out for that one, he’s a bad influence. That was directed to, er, both of you.

This came to my attention because John yesterday put a post on his own Instagram account to thank Putin for picking up the phone after the musician’s recent plea for the two to meet. John’s latest request for them to get together and discuss Russia’s piss poor record on gay rights came in a recent interview with BBC News, just after the musician had spoken with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and various business leaders in the country about putting an end to sexuality-based discrimination.

John wrote on Instagram: “Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia”.

You might think that Putin’s sudden desire to chat with Elton John is a bit surprising. Well, you’re not alone, because a spokesperson for the Russian president said yesterday that it didn’t happen. “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”, Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “But we haven’t received such signals yet”.

Haven’t received such signals? We’ve all received the signals, and we weren’t even trying that hard. But with this denial, exactly whose signals Elton John has been receiving remains unclear.