MOSCOW – Russia’s rock-music-loving president hosted Bono, the frontman of the Irish band U2, at his resplendent residence near the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, and praised him for writing music “that unites generations.”
Dmitry Medvedev, a well-known fan of the classic rock acts Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, complimented the 50-year-old singer, six years his senior, for highlighting problems in Africa, such as poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“You are doing important things, because taking care of people is not only a job for politicians,” Medvedev said.
The president chatted in English with Bono, whose band will play its first-ever concert in Russia on Wednesday as part of its “360″ world tour.
Medvedev, in jeans and gray shirt, and Bono, in his trademark dark glasses, stubble and earring, sipped tea on the verandah.
Bono, a noted philanthropist whose humanitarian work has also included pushing rich nations to write off billion-dollar debts to poverty-stricken countries, told Medvedev that spending 40 cents per day could eliminate the transfer of HIV from mother to child by 2015.
“The charity work that you and your colleagues do has brought you respect all over the world,” Medvedev said.