Guardian reports that the purported call between Vladimir Putin and Elton John didn't infact take place.
Putin's office has revealed that the telephonic conversation between the premier and England's most revered pop star didn't actually take place. John had shared the information via his Instagram account, thanking Putin for the call, and hoping to meet him face to face to talk about LGBT equality rights in Russia:
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. @president_vladimir_putin @ejaf #lgbt #lgbtrights #ShareTheLove
A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on Sep 14, 2015 at 8:11am PDT
Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, questioned the authenticity of the Instagram post. "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," he said. "But we haven't received such signals yet."
John has been a pretty vocal critic of Putin's regime's insensitivity toward the LGBT community in Russia. In a recent interview, John spoke to the BBC about the issue, calling the regime's attitude toward them "isolating and prejudiced" and "ridiculous."
He particularly criticised the law against gay "propaganda" and said Putin's statement at the Sochi Olympics last year that gay people would be fine in Russia as long as they "leave the kids alone" was "stupid".
"It's probably pie in the sky ... He may laugh behind my back when he shuts the door, and call me an absolute idiot, but at least I can think I have the conscience to say I tried," John added.
The Instagram post might have been John's way of making a sarastic statement to get the Russian premier's attention.