Gerard Depardieu gets Russian passport
French actor Gerard Depardieu has received a Russian passport after flying to Russia for a late night dinner with President Vladimir Putin.
Depardieu sought Russian citizenship as part of his battle against a proposed super tax on millionaires in France, and Putin granted his request last week.
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Russian television showed Putin embracing the actor as he arrived late Saturday at the president's residence in Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The two men were then shown chatting over supper, discussing a soon-to-be-released film in which Depardieu plays Russian monk Grigory Rasputin.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed on Sunday that Depardieu was given his new Russian passport.
French President Francois Hollande plans to raise the tax on earned income above $1.3 million to 75 percent from the current 41 percent, while Russia has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
The former Oscar nominee and star of the movie "Green Card" has been vocal in his opposition to Hollande's plans to raise the tax on earned income above 1 million Euros or $1.33 million to 75 percent from the current high of 41 percent. Russia has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
"I have never killed anyone, I don't think I've been unworthy, I've paid 145 million Euros in taxes over 45 years," Depardieu wrote in an open letter in mid-December to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who had called the actor "pathetic."
"I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called 'pathetic,'" the 64-year-old actor wrote in his response.
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