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Depardieu 'Violated Georgian Law On Occupied Territories'


French-born actor and Russian passport holder Gerard Depardieu (center) meets with city residents in Sukhumi, in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

French-born actor and Russian passport holder Gerard Depardieu (center) meets with city residents in Sukhumi, in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Georgian officials say French-born actor Gerard Depardieu "violated Georgian legislation on occupied territories" by visiting Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Georgia's deputy minister for reintegration issues, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, told journalists on July 3 that Depardieu visited Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhumi, and met with the region's separatist leadership on July 1 without preliminary consultations with Tbilisi.

Tsikhelashvili added that Depardieu's action is "punishable" as it violates Georgian law.

The independence of Georgia's separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognized by Russia following a brief war with Georgia in August 2008.

Georgia considers the two regions its sovereign territory under Russian military occupation.

In January, Depardieu was granted a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin after complaining about high taxes in France.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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