CBSN

Gerard Depardieu gets Russian passport

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who has threatened to quit his homeland to avoid higher taxes, shows off his new Russian passport on January 6, 2013 at Mordovia airport in Saransk where he has been offered residence in this central Russia region known for Stalin-era Gulag labour camps. The former Oscar nominee travelled to snow-covered Mordovia a day after he met with strongman President Vladimir Putin at his sumptuous Black Sea villa in the resort town of Sochi for friendly banter over a meal. AFP PHOTO / CAROLINE LARSON (Photo credit should read CAROLINE LARSON/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP
Gerard Depardieu shows off his new Russian passport on Jan. 6, 2013, at Mordovia airport in Saransk, where he has been offered residence in the central Russia region known for Stalin-era Gulag labour camps.
Getty

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.

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.