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Madonna’s Russian Concerts Last Year Still Have the Government in a Tizzy


Forget Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s trip to Cuba. In Russia, the visa debate that has local conservatives all twitterpated centers around Madonna’s visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now it looks like the Material Girl might not be allowed to visit the former communist nation again anytime soon.

According to The Moscow News, Russian-language daily Izvestia reports that the nation’s foreign ministry has ruled Madonna violated the terms of her visa. The ruling reportedly finds she failed to get a work permit that would have allowed her for-profit shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg last summer. That, in turn, might make it harder for her to get back into the country later.

In shades of Jay and Bey’s conservative-angering Cuba visit, Madonna’s visa reportedly limited her trip to “cultural ties,” as quoted by The Moscow News. The Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying in a statement: “If a foreign national’s activity in Russia is aimed at making a profit, including through commercial performances, the said national must receive a work permit from the Federal Migration Service, and therefore must be issued a normal work visa, with the purpose of the visit stated as work for hire.”

This all started with a real peach of a guy, St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who famously authored a municipal law that bans “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.” Milonov had challenged whether Madonna’s visit was legal after she advocated gay rights and defended jailed feminist punk group Pussy Riot. A lawsuit by anti-gay groups claiming Madonna broke Milonov’s law was dismissed by a Russian judge last November.

Now, Milonov reportedly wants to see Madonna fined $16.7 million. Last December he also accused Lady Gaga of breaking the law at her St. Petersburg concert. More recently, openly gay British comedian Stephen Fry interviewed Milonov for a BBC documentary. Just wait until Russian conservatives find out about Beyoncé’s golden nipples.