The Rocket Man star is hoping to schedule a meeting with the Russian leader later this year (15) to discuss gay rights issues in the country.

They made the plans over the phone last month (Sep15), a week after the singer was targeted by pranksters pretending to be Putin in a hoax call, and Furnish has now opened up about the musician's planned meeting with Putin, insisting the Russian President is a nice guy.

"Putin is lovely. He and Elton spoke on the phone and the Kremlin have confirmed that," he tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror. "Now they're trying to get a date in the diary to talk face to face...

"That may surprise people but I take people as I find them and he was so polite and lovely on the phone. He's genuinely lovely. Besides, this isn't about politics - I'm not a politician - it's about humanity."

Sir Elton was targeted by Russian TV entertainers Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov after expressing his desire to talk to Putin about his nation's controversial anti-gay laws.

The jokers, also known as Vova and Lexus, confirmed the phone prank days after Sir Elton took to to publicly praise Putin for taking the time to speak to him.

The singer subsequently laughed off the joke, insisting he hoped the headline-grabbing stunt raised awareness surrounding gay rights issues in Russia.

"Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands," Sir Elton wrote in a later post on Instagram.

"I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against. If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion."