Elton John reveals he met Russian ministers to discuss LGBT rights

Violent homophobic crimes in Russia have doubled in recent years


Elton John has revealed he's met with Russian officials to help promote LGBT equality. 

The 70-year-old singer told NY Daily News at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar party in LA that he and husband David Furnish had met Russian ministers to discuss LGBT rights and equality. 

The pair hope to bring change to Russia where hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled since the introduction of the country's "anti-gay propaganda" law, which has been used to stop gay pride marches and to detain gay rights activists. 

The iconic entertainer said: "We met with the Russian health minister in Moscow in December, and it is all about taking a little step at a time." 

He added: "I am just a pop star, but I have a foundation and he is a president - and one of the most powerful presidents in the world."

Elton then insisted that his communication with the Russian government has been "very nice and cordial" before adding that Putin had called him personally: "(Putin) phoned me up and I know they want dialogue, but it is one foot at a time." 

The news comes after two Russian comedians pretended to be Vladimir Putin and called Elton John in 2015 for a prank, leading the real president to call the singer and apologise. 

John made headlines last week for storming off stage mid-concert in Las Vegas after he became unhappy with a fan's behaviour.