President Vladimir Putin has said Russians love pop icon Eltn John, as the country does not discriminate against gays.
The comments from Putin came as he sought to defuse calls from gay rights activists to boycott the Winter Olympics after Russia passed a law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ to minors.
According to Channel24, in an interview with foreign journalists less than three weeks before the opening of the Sochi Olympics, Putin reiterated that Russia would welcome all athletes and visitors, regardless of their sexuality.
As an example, he praised John, who is openly gay, as ‘an outstanding person and outstanding musician’.
John had spoken out against the law during a sold-out Moscow concert last month, saying that he was deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the homosexual community in Russia.
Putin said that the law ‘does not offend anyone’, adding that ‘people with non-traditional sexual orientation cannot feel like they are second-rate.(ANI)