Singer-songwriter Elton John has reacted to a Russian film company's decision to cut scenes from Rocketman involving intimate moments between men.

State news agency Tass reported that the scenes had been cut to comply with Russian laws that do not allow for positive portrayals of same-sex relationships.

Rocketman, which looks at the life and career of John, has been lauded for being the first mainstream film to feature gay male sex.

John and the film's producers said in a statement that they “reject” the film's censorship “in the strongest possible terms.”

“We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today,” John said in a statement. “Paramount pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton's extraordinary life, warts and all.”

“That the local distributor has found it necessary to edit out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”

“We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world,” he added.

Scenes involving intimate moments between men have been cut from the film, including a tribute at the end of the film to John's husband. According to one film critic, an estimated five minutes had been removed from the movie.

(Related: Elton John “proud” of gay sex scenes in Rocketman.)