At a press conference with the foreign press Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Elton John’s recent Moscow concert as example of the country’s supposed acceptance of the gay community.

Putin described Elton John as “an outstanding person [and] outstanding musician” who is admired by “Millions of our people….despite his orientation.”

The President has been under intense scrutiny lately for Russia’s homophobic propaganda law in  leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in February.

The remark comes after the Russian President assured that gay athletes would be welcomed with open arms at Sochi but requested that they “Just leave children in peace.”

“If you want my personal attitude, I would tell you that I don’t care about a person’s orientation and I myself know some people who are gay. We are on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way,” he said Sunday.

Putin assured the media that Russia would accept athletes of all sexual orientations at next month’s Olympics, saying “People have different sexual orientations … We will welcome all athletes and all guests of the Olympics.”;