Putin says liberalism ‘eating itself’ (Source Associated Press) The Russian leader added that while “liberal ideas remain attractive as a whole,” election results show that people want change. Putin hailed his meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit as “business-like and pragmatic.” “We addressed almost the entire list of issues of mutual concern,” he said. “Of course, we talked about the situation in various parts of the world. Overall, these consultations were useful.” Putin said he and Trump agreed that the nations’ top diplomats should continue discussions on a possible extension of the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty that expires in 2021. They also talked about the need to encourage the development of bilateral economic ties, Putin said.
He also responded to criticism from singer Elton John, who accused Putin of duplicity after he offered a critical view of the Western emphasis on LGBT rights. “I deeply respect him, he is a musical genius and we all love his performance, but I believe he’s mistaken,” Putin said. John and the filmmakers of his biopic “Rocketman” have sharply criticized a Russian distributor’s decision to censor scenes from the new movie. Putin argued that Russia’s ban on “propaganda” of LGBT culture among children is aimed at protecting them from aggressive proselytizing by the LGBT community. “Let a person grow up first before making a choice,” Putin said. “Let the children in peace.” He said that “our attitude to the LGBT community is absolutely calm and unbiased,” but added that “this part of community aggressively enforces its point of view on others.”