Monday, January 7, 2013

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(Reuters) - French film star Gerard Depardieu arrived in Russia on Saturday to meet President Vladimir Putin, who granted him citizenship after a public spat in France over his efforts to avoid a potential 75 percent income tax.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the two would meet in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Putin was spending part of the 10-day New Year and Russian Orthodox Christmas holiday.

He said it was possible Putin would hand Depardieu his Russian passport during the meeting.
"It is a private meeting, we will not be releasing any other details," Peskov said by phone.

Russian media quoted him as saying the meeting would take place on Saturday. Depardieu's spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Thursday, the Kremlin announced that Putin had signed a decree granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu, who objected to Socialist president Francois Hollande's plan to impose a 75 percent tax rate on millionaires.

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