Putin phones Elton John to chat LGBT equality

Yesterday we brought you the news that Sir Elton John has offered to have a sensible discussion with Russian premier Vladimir Putin in the hopes of making him see sense on LGBT+ rights. An admirable wish, but even the least cynical among us could be forgiven for having one thought, given Putin's appalling track record on LGBT issues: 'Never gonna happen'. elton Well, colour us surprised. Less than 24 hours on, Sir Elton has taken to his official Instagram page to announce that the Russian leader has already been in touch: "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," Sir Elton writes. Before the phone call over the weekend, Sir Elton had told the BBC that while “I’d probably not [change his mind], but I’ll have a go! I’d love to meet him, I’d love to sit down with him and talk to him." “It’s probably pie in the sky… but if I meet him and say ‘let’s have a cup of tea and talk about this’, 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. “I’d say come on – gay people are not the problem here. They are not the problem of the world, the world faces much bigger problems than gay people. Don’t isolate and be prejudiced against gay people.” Over the weekend, Sir Elton spoke at the #YESUkraine2015 Conference in Kiev, where he met with Ukraine President Poroshenko to discuss the importance of legislative changes to support LGBT rights. "Specifically, I asked him to: 1. Ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexuality and gender identity, 2. Provide criminal penalties for hate crimes." Here are the pair together: More stories: Elton John rang Keegan Hirst to say 'You're fabulous!' Elton slams Mayor of Venice over gay book ban