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.