5 January 2013, 21:04

Depardieu flies to Russia for possible meeting with Putin

Depardieu flies to Russia for possible meeting with Putin

French actor and tax rebel Gerard Depardieu has flown to Sochi for a possible meeting with Vladimir Putin after he was granted Russian citizenship, a spokesman for the Russian president said on Saturday.

Dmitri Peskov told Echo of Moscow that Depardieu, who has threatened to relocate outside France to protest a planned 75-per-cent income tax, would be handed a Russian passport.

Putin on Thursday signed a decree granting Depardieu, 64, Russian citizenship after the French actor applied for it.

The actor has bought a property in a village of tax exiles in Belgium and told French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that he would give up his French passport.

Depardieu, who was France's best-paid actor in 2008, was pilloried by the French media for announcing his move to Nechin, a village in southern Belgium, 1 kilometre from the French town of Roubaix.

Voice of Russia, dpa

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