Vladimir Putin responded to Elton John‘s claims that Russia is hostile toward the LGBT community.

Putin denied that Russia is hostile toward the LGBT community, and said that the British singer was wrong to make such claims.

“[Elton John] is mistaken,” Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian state-run news agency TASS. “We [in Russia] have a very neutral attitude to members of the LGBT community. We have a law, for which we’ve been slammed, a law banning propaganda of homosexuality among minors.”

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According to Billboard, Putin claims that the law just aims to make sure children are “left alone” until they’ve grown up and can make decisions regarding their sexuality.

Putin’s response comes after John’s open letter to him on Instagram, which was released on Friday, June 28. John commented on Putin’s recent interview with the Financial Times, in which the president called the number of gender categories “excessive,” and said he did not want LGBT culture to “overshadow” Russian heterosexual culture, according to Billboard.

John took to Instagram and wrote a message, along with a photo with his husband and two children with the word ‘censored’ across the center. “I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies.”

“I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that’,” John added. The singer referred to the fact that the recent Elton John biopic Rocketman was censored in Russia, with scenes depicting gay sex and drug consumption being cut.

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Dear President Putin, I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times. I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies. I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to “be happy” and that “we have no problem in that”. Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film “Rocketman” by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me. I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want. And I’m truly grateful for the advancement in government policies that have allowed and legally supported my marriage to David. This has brought us both tremendous comfort and happiness. Respectfully, Elton John #LOVEISLOVE #WORLDPRIDE @EJAF

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The Russian culture ministry, which is in charge of issuing permissions for movies to be released, stated that it didn’t request any changes and that the cuts were made voluntarily by the local distributor.