Kremlin: Putin won't meet Elton John in Moscow this month

Singer Elton John performs at the Hillary Victory Fund "I'm With Her" benefit concert for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Radio City Music Hall in the Manhattan borough of New York City, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet Elton John when he visits Russia this month because there is no appropriate time in the two men’s schedules, the Kremlin said on Thursday, noting that the two men could still meet at a later date.

Putin telephoned the British entertainer in September to say he would be ready to meet for a chat after Elton John requested a meeting to discuss his concerns about gay rights in Russia.

“We were in correspondence with him (Elton John) a couple of weeks ago, because there had been an agreement that, if their schedules allow, this meeting would take place. President Putin expressed readiness for this meeting. But this time, the meeting won’t take place, unfortunately,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with journalists.

“Their schedules do not match up. But this does not mean that such a meeting won’t take place next time.”

Elton John will be performing at a luxury Moscow shopping and entertainment center on May 30 as part of his world tour.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Louise Ireland