Gerard Depardieu has reportedly been blacklisted by Ukraine after being branded a “threat to national security” by the Government’s Ministry of Culture.
The decision to put the French actor’s name on the list of 500 foreign figures came after he made comments supporting Russia, according to the Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS.
Depardieu was made a Russian citizen in 2013 and is believed to have angered Ukrainian officials in 2014 when he gave a speech at a film festival in Latvia, where he said: “I love Russia and Ukraine, which is part of Russia.”
TASS claims the 66-year-old joins the actor Steven Segal on the blacklist of people who “speak out in support of violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine”.
Depardieu and Vladimir Putin’s friendly relationship has been widely publicised, with Depardieu telling the Cannes conference this year he liked the Russian President “very much”. Some reports have even claimed Depardieu’s Russian passport was hand-delivered by Putin himself.
Depardieu also teamed up with a Swiss luxury brand to launch a ‘Proud to be Russian’ line of watches in march 2014, the same year Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Russia is accused of assisting pro-Russian separatists in the armed conflict with Government forces in eastern Ukraine, a claim Putin has consistently denied.
Depardieu left France for Belgium in 2013 after new tax laws that would see the wealthy taxed at an increased rate of 75 per cent were announced. He later claimed his departure had been misinterpreted, telling Le Figaro the whole story was just a “big misunderstanding” and insisting he still loved France.Reuse content