The Russian president made the comments in response to the British singer's criticism.
Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is hostile toward the LGBT community and said that British singer Elton John was wrong to make such claims. "[Elton John] is mistaken," Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian state-run news agency TASS. "We [in Russia] have a very neutral attitude to members of the LGBT community. We have a law, for which we've been slammed, a law banning propaganda of homosexuality among minors."
According to Putin, the law just aims to make sure children are "left alone" until they've grown up, and then they can make decisions regarding their sexuality. In further remarks, Putin complemented the singer. "I respect him very much, he is a genial musician, he comes to Russia and we are happy to listen to him sing," he said.
Putin made his remarks in response to John's comments about a recent interview the Russian president conducted with the Financial Times in which the president called the number of gender categories "excessive" and said he did not want LGBT culture to "overshadow" Russian heterosexual culture.