Depardieu flies to Russia, may receive passport

Depardieu flies to Russia, may receive passport

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A picture taken on December 11, 2010, shows Russia's President, then Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin (R) speaking with French actor Gerard Depardieu (L) as they tour Russky (Russian) Museum in St. Petersburg. Putin granted today fast-track citizenship to Depardieu after the movie star complained about the French Socialist government's proposed 75 percent tax on the rich.The decision appears to give Depardieu -- a frequent guest of the Moscow celebrity circuit who nonetheless never asked for a Russian passport -- the right to pay the 13 percent tax levied in Russia on everyone from billionaires to the poor. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI POOL /ALEXEI NIKOLSKY (Photo credit should read ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

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The Associated Press

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says French actor Gerard Depardieu has flown to Sochi, where he is likely to meet with Putin and receive a Russian passport.

Putin on Thursday approved the actor’s application for Russian citizenship, causing a scandal in France, where Depardieu has been fighting a proposed 75 percent income tax on the superrich.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the state RIA Novosti news agency as saying Depardieu arrived Saturday in Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and could meet with Putin on Saturday evening.

Peskov said, “It cannot be excluded that during the meeting Depardieu could receive a passport.”

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