Putin offers to meet Elton John after hoax call

Los Angeles, Sep 25 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to meet British singer Elton John if their schedules allow it, after John was prank-called by two Russian television hosts pretending to be the president and his press secretary Dmitri S. Peskov.

“Putin spoke with Elton John,” Peskov said.

“Putin called and said: ‘I know that you were pranked by the telephone guys – do not be upset with them, they’re harmless, although that, without doubt, does not justify them.'”

The spokesman added: “Putin said that he knows what a popular performer Elton John is, and in the future, if their schedules coincide, he will be ready to meet with him and discuss any questions that are of interest.”

Vladimir “Vovan” Krasnov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov, who are famous for prank-calling Ukrainian and Russian celebrities, prank-called John after they heard that the singer told BBC he would like to meet Putin to discuss gay rights.

The musician then informed his Instagram followers that he had a successful conversation over the phone with the Russian president.

When the call was revealed to be a hoax, the singer responded: “Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands.”

“If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion.”

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