Madonna has told celebrity news magazine Entertainment Weekly that she will most likely never return to Moscow or St. Petersburg because of Russia's stand on gay rights, Cosmopolitan reported.
The singer gave the interview to Entertainment Weekly on Aug. 7, just ahead of her upcoming tour, which begins Sept. 9. The tour will involve concerts in 35 cities across North America, Europe and Australia.
Madonna last appeared in Russia in 2012 and lived up to her reputation as a provocateur by publicly voicing support for punk band Pussy Riot. At the time, several group members were on trial for their performance of a "punk prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Conservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who is known for his anti-LGBT views, responded swiftly to Madonna's statement. In an interview to Russian News Agency, Milonov called the singer a "hypocritical old lady" and accused her of prioritizing gay rights over the lives of children suffering because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.