Depardieu meets Putin to collect Russian passport
Gérard Depardieu enjoyed a lively first day as a Russian citizen today, with banquets, toasts and offers of free property.
The French actor, who has said he is leaving France in protest at a tax increase on the super-rich, has now received his Russian passport, possibly directly from the hands of President Vladimir Putin.
The two men, who enjoy a warm friendship, met in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, ostensibly to talk about the release of a film in which Depardieu, 64, plays the wild, debauched Russian monk Rasputin. Mr Putin’s spokesman said the actor “used the opportunity” to pick up his new documents.
In a letter to Russian journalists last week explaining why he was taking Russian citizenship, Depardieu wrote of his “love” for Mr Putin and called Russia a “great democracy”. It is unclear whether he will actually live permanently in Russia, and thus become eligible for a 13 per cent flat income tax rate. He has said that Moscow is too big a metropolis for him and he would prefer to live in the countryside.
He certainly has no shortage of offers of a roof over his head. The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said the actor would be welcome in Chechnya, while today Depardieu was receiving a ceremonial welcome in Mordovia, west of Moscow.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...