Putin Gives Russian Passport to Depardieu for Christmas
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has personally given French film star Gerard Depardieu his new Russian passport, announced Izvestiya Sunday.
Depardieu arrived late Saturday night on a private visit to Putin's Sochi residence, where the Russian President has spent New Year's and Christmas, which Russian Christians celebrate on January 7 under the Julian Calendar.
The two men, who have met before, embraced each other warmly, according to an official release, which however does not point out further details, given the private nature of the visit.
The presidential decree for granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu was issued last Thursday, and the whole procedure has been executed exeedingly quickly.
Depardieu's choice to leave France was motivated to new high taxes for the super-wealthy, as envisioned by President Francois Hollande.
This led to a dramatic exchange between the actor and French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault, with Depardieu symbolically returning his French passport to the PM.
Other famous French citizens, including Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Michel Jarre, have also suggested they might move elsewhere.
- » Slovakia Starts Shipping Gas to Ukraine via Vojany-Uzhgorod Pipeline
- » Russia 'Not EU's Strategic Partner Anymore' - Mogherini
- » Turkey Summons US Charge d'Affaires over Spying Report
- » Ukraine Soldiers, Rebels Clash at Luhansk Airport
- » Five Killed in Plane Crash in US Colorado
- » EU Leaders Give Russia 7 Days to Reverse Course in Ukraine or Face New Sanctions