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MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin is ready to meet with British rock star Elton John, Krmelin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday commenting on the singer’s plans to meet with the Russian leader next year.
"This is not an issue for negotiations," Peskov said. "The president said he was ready to meet with Elton John. We hope they’ll meet when their schedules cross."
The singer said on Wednesday he was looking forward to a meeting with Putin.
""I was very flattered that he reached out to me. I look forward to a further time when I can discuss things with him face to face within the next year," Elton John was quoted by Mirror.
In mid-September, the British musician said in a BBC interview that he would like to meet with Putin to discuss Russia’s stance on the rights of sexual minorities. Shortly after, Elton John said in an Instagram post that the Russian president had called him.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later denied that Putin had phoned the British singer. Two Russian hoaxers then admitted that they had called the musician pretending to be Putin.
Putin called Elton John in late September, this time for real. Peskov said the Russian side made huge efforts to convince the signer that the Russian leader would indeed hold a telephone conversation with him.
"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.