Vladimir Putin reportedly called Elton John this week after the singer fell victim to a prank call from someone alleging to be the Russian President.

Vladimir Putin Called Elton John Following Prank Call

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian press that Putin called Elton John on Thursday and offered to meet the singer after a prank caller pretending to be Putin contacted John and offered to speak about LGBT rights. Following the prank call, John posted about his talk with the alleged Russian President on Instagram before realizing that he had been lied to.

“Putin called and said, ‘I know you were called by pranksters; don’t get offended by those guys, they are harmless, though this certainly does not justify their actions,’” Peskov said.

The original prank occurred almost two weeks ago. John posted a photo of Putin to his official Instagram page, thanking him for his call on Sept. 14. “Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching our and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia,” John wrote.

One day after the post, the Kremlin denied any such conversation, and Russian TV personality Vladimir Krasnov admitted to the prank. After the call was confirmed as a prank, John again took to Instagram to comment on his fake phone call with President Putin.

“Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against. If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion,” John wrote.

John has been an advocate for LGBT rights for years, whereas Putin has restricted gay rights in Russia. Still, said Peskov, Putin is willing to meet with John “and discuss any questions that interest him.”

John has not responded to Putin’s public invitation to meet, and has yet to comment on the phone call he allegedly received from Putin.

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