Elton John has proven that the squeaky wheel gets the grease: two days after telling the BBC that he’d like to discuss gay rights in Russia with President Vladimir Putin, Putin himself evidently picked up the phone and gave Elton a call.

“Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today,” Elton wrote on Instagram. “I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.”

In 2014, when Elton played in St. Petersburg, Russia, he told the fans that he was upset about the country’s anti-propaganda laws, which ban the “promotion of homosexuality to minors.” He said, “If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.”

On Saturday, Elton, who was in Ukraine, told the BBC that Putin’s attitude towards gay people was “isolating and prejudiced” and “ridiculous.” He added, “I would like to meet [Mr Putin]. It’s probably pie in the sky…He may laugh behind my back when he shuts the door, and call me an absolute idiot, but at least I can think I have the conscience to say I tried.” Putin evidently called Elton after he heard about those comments.

While in Ukraine, Elton met with that country’s president, and called upon him to support the LGBT community; he also met with business leaders and urged them not to refuse to hire LGBT employees.

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