MOSCOW, September 24 /TASS/. It was hard for the Russian ambassador in London to convince Sir Elton John that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to talk to him by phone, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said commenting on President Putin’s telephone conversation with Elton John that took place earlier on Thursday.
"At first he [Elton John] hesitated," Peskov said. "We decided to ask Russian Ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko to get in touch with the musician and tell him about the phone call. In the beginning, Yakovenko had certain problems to explain to the musician that he was really the Russian ambassador and that the real president of Russia wanted to talk to him," Peskov said adding the ambassador’s diplomatic skills helped him convincing Elton John.
Peskov said that Elton John had wished to meet the Russian president.
"In this case, the president deemed it necessary to support his initiative especially after two Russian prankers had goofed on Elton John (two well-known Russian prankers disguised as Putin gave a call to Elton John last week), Peskov explained.
"The president emphasized that he would be ready to answer any questions that interest Elton John if their working schedules cross," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Peskov told journalists about Putin’s telephone conversation with Elton John. "The president gave a call to Elton John shortly after a conference," Peskov said adding Putin was the first to call the British musician.
Putin told him that he knew about the recent prank and asked Elton John not be angry with the prankers.
"Putin said he was ready to meet (Elton John) and discuss any issue which interests him if their schedules coincided," the Kremlin spokesman said.
Famous musician, signer and pianist Elton John wrote in Instagram in mid-September that he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone.
I would like to thank President Vladimir Putin for a telephone conversation, which we had today. I am looking forward to a vis-а-vis meeting to discuss problems of the LGBT community in Russia, Elton John wrote on his page in Instagram.
In a BBC interview, the British musician said he would like to meet Putin to discuss the living conditions of representatives of sexual minorities in Russia.
The journalists asked Peskov to confirm or refute Elton John’s post in Instagram that he had allegedly talked to the Russian president.
"No, it is not true, there has been no conversation," Peskov said noting that the presidential administration was extremely cautious (about various remarks) because of a huge number of fake messages and accounts.
Later it turned out that two Russians had goofed on the British musician.
"In case we receive such a signal / that Elton John wants to talk to the Russian leader/, in case the president receives it, he, as always, will remain open to discussing any human problems and any questions," Peskov said commenting the joke in mid-September.
Last year, Sir Elton John officially married his long-time male friend David Furnish, with whom he had lived in civil partnership for many years.