After months out of the spotlight, Lady Gaga is prepping for her likely triumphant return with ARTPOP, and Little Monsters across the globe are waiting with open arms. But one country may not be so welcoming.
Nine months after a live show in St. Petersburg, Russian politician Vitaly Milonov has reportedly filed a request to launch an investigation into Gaga’s stay in the country, saying she did not obtain the proper visa to perform. According to the conservative lawmaker, the singer only had a tourist visa at the time, which does not allow for commercial activity. He’s launching the same accusation at Madonna, who visited the country in August 2012, reportedly with the same type of visa.
According the The Guardian, prosecutors are considering asking Russia’s foreign ministry or federal migration service to press charges.
The claims come at a fragile moment in the United States’ relationship with Russia. In late December, President Vladimir Putin approved a law banning American families from adopting Russian children, and the country’s discrimination against homosexuals has been met by outcry from the U.S. and beyond.
Following their 2012 shows, Milonov accused both Gaga and Madonna of “promoting homosexuality” to minors, which is illegal under a recently passed law. Madonna used a show in Moscow to express her support for Pussy Riot, who were jailed in the country after speaking out against Putin. Gaga, meanwhile, had been accused by Milonov of using her “music, songs and such” to make “direct calls to 12-year-old citizens to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”
While Lady Gaga has not announced any tour dates for her ARTPOP album — which will drop on November 11 — she will undoubtedly be looking to make a return to the worldwide spotlight following her performance at this year’s Video Music Awards on August 25.