Putin offers Depardieu Russian passport

2012-12-20 12:18
Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was ready to offer French movie star Gerard Depardieu a Russian passport to resolve his tax row, calling him a friend.

"If Gerard really wants to have a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we can consider this issue resolved positively," Putin said at his first major news conference after his return to the Kremlin in a March election.

The website of Le Monde newspaper on Tuesday quoted Depardieu as telling friends that "Putin has already sent me a passport".

Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded to the report by telling AFP that "most likely he was joking".

'He considers himself a Frenchman'

Depardieu on Sunday threatened to give up his French passport and take up Belgian citizenship to protest at the Socialist government's new tax hike on the rich.

But Putin questioned whether Depardieu really wanted to give up his French citizenship.

"I understand the feelings of Gerard Depardieu, but even though he said... that he considers himself a European, a citizen of the world, I know for a fact, since we have a very friendly, personal relationship, that he considers himself a Frenchman," Putin said.

"He loves his country very much," he said. "I am sure he is going through tough times."

Depardieu made the threat to renounce his citizenship after French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called him "pathetic" for making Belgium his formal place of residence, a move meant to help the actor avoid the French tax.


  • felicity.boonaert - 2012-12-20 12:39

    Looking at the size of him. He is truly battling, poor fat cat.

      michael.i.wright - 2012-12-20 16:54

      Said "fatcat" created what he had after, having a start in life that included a miserable childhood of abuse and neglect. You know, those childhoods that other like to blame for the fact that they made nothing of themselves at all. He earned it and is upset that the government wants to hand it all to those who will not provide for themselves.

  • richard.louw.906 - 2012-12-20 13:16

    I for one support Depardieu. He worked hard for his money and now some socialist a-hole president wants to tax him and other rich people that also worked hard for their money more so that they can pay out dole money to that part of society that is too lazy to work and just sit around and expect handouts.

      Isobel Smith - 2012-12-20 19:12

      the french hate anyone thats not french or rich they r shooting themselves by taxing the rich the rich bring in the money to keep them going . just now they will have back the peasants they created.

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