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Russia grants French actor passport

  |   Jan. 6, 2013 at 9:04 AM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- French film actor Gerard Depardieu was issued a Russian passport after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, officials said Sunday.

Depardieu met Putin at a Black Sea resort Sochi, RIA Novosti reported.

"The president had a brief meeting with Gerard Depardieu, the actor is in Russia on a private visit," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday. "Depardieu has received the Russian passport."

Depardieu, who recently denounced his French citizenship and moved to Belgium over France's proposal of a 75 percent tax rate on annual earnings above $1.3 million, has said he loves Russia and wants to study the Russian language, RIA Novosti reported.

Russia has a fixed 13 percent income tax.

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