Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies later Tuesday that Putin never called John.
“Putin did not have a conversation with Elton John, and, what’s more, we have not received any requests from him for a meeting,” Peskov was quoted as saying.
Peskov added, however, that Putin would be willing to talk to the musician if he reaches out to him.
“The president has always been open to discuss human rights issues,” he said. “The president, I’m sure, will be ready to meet with Elton John, too, if there is such a request.”
John performed in the then-Soviet Union in 1979 and still regularly plays shows in Russia.