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Depardieu Flies To Sochi, May Meet Putin

Gerard Depardieu
Gerard Depardieu
Russian media say French actor Gerard Depardieu has flown to Russia, where he may meet with President Vladimir Putin and receive a Russian passport.

The state RIA Novosti news agency quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Depardieu arrived on January 5 in the Black Sea town of Sochi and could meet with the Russian president later in the day.

Peskov added that "it cannot be excluded that during the meeting Depardieu could receive a passport."

Putin on January 3 granted Russian citizenship to Depardieu, who is involved in a bitter tax dispute with French authorities.

The same day, French former actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot threatened to join Depardieu in Russian exile unless France halts the scheduled euthanasia of two sick circus elephants.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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