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Depardieu At Cannes: 'I Like Putin Very Much'

Gerard Depardieu speaks at a press conference in Cannes on May 22.
Gerard Depardieu speaks at a press conference in Cannes on May 22.

Gerard Depardieu, the famous French-actor-turned-Russian-citizen, reiterated at the Cannes Film Festival that he likes President Vladimir Putin "very much."

The 66-year-old Depardieu made the comments on May 22 after presenting his movie Valley of Love.

Asked by RFE/RL about his views on the Ukraine conflict, he said, "I'm like everybody -- I think conflicts are a terrible thing."

"I know Mr. Putin well and I like him very much. I still travel often to the U.S.S.R. -- I mean Russia," he added, drawing a laugh at a press conference.

"I love the Ukrainian people, but conflicts are not my area," Depardieu also said.

Putin hand-delivered a Russian passport to Depardieu in January 2013 after criticizing taxes on top earners in France.

Kyiv and the West accuse Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, of arming separatists in the country's east and sending troops there, charges Moscow denies.

With reporting by AFP
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