Moscow – British singer, Elton John told a concert in Russia that he still wanted to meet Russian President, Vladimir Putin to discuss his concerns about gay rights and AIDS in the country.
John said this while performing at a luxury shopping and entertainment centre on Monday night as part of a world tour.
He sounded disappointed that he could not meet the Russian leader during his visit to the country.
According to him, the earlier scheduled meeting with Putin failed, but he will try again.
“As some of you may know, I hoped to meet with President Putin on this trip.
“Although it wasn’t possible, I’m deeply grateful to him for inviting me to discuss some serious issues in Russia including Lesbian Gays Bisexual Transgender, HIV and AIDS.
“I very much hope we will find time in future to meet.”
Putin’s Spokesman said last week that the Russian leader’s schedule did not match up with John’s, but a meeting might be fixed in the future.
The spokesman said that Putin had to fly to Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning for a meeting.
In September, Putin phoned the singer who had used his status as one of the world’s most famous gay celebrities to push for equal rights for homosexuals around the world requesting for a meeting.
Western governments and human rights activists had criticised the Russian authorities for their treatment of gay people.
John had previously spoken out against a 2013 law banning the dissemination of “gay propaganda” among young Russians.
Putin had said he was not prejudiced against gay people.
John had also expressed alarm about the scale of Russia’s AIDS epidemic.
The number of people registered HIV positive passed the one million mark earlier this year and the country’s top AIDS specialist warned the rate of infection had reached record levels. (/ReutersNAN)