Bienvenue en Russie, M. Depardieu!

Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for more than 12 years now, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

The latest diplomatic gag is the granting of Russian citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu, who has in recent years made a big stink over paying too much taxes in France.  While Russia is offering Mr. Depardieu an attractive 13% rate, he will have to spend more than 183 days per year in residence – which is bound to include some chilly months.  Somehow I could see this falling apart, but it certainly marks Russia’s most endearing moment since RT hired Julian Assange to do a show.  What will these daring guys think of next!

The Financial Times points out that not only does Mr. Depardieu have the opportunity to turn in his French passport, he can also go live in beautiful Chechnya:

 But before Russia eclipses Monaco as the next destination for European tax exiles, it has some competition. Chechnya, the war-torn autonomous Russian republic, run by warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, has also offered Mr Depardieu a home.

French media have shown a video of Mr Depardieu celebrating the birthday of Chechnya’s ruler in Grozny in 2012, shouting to the crowd: “Glory to Chechnya, glory to Ramzan Kadyrov.”

Mr Kadyrov last month said he was “ready to welcome the great artist” to Chechnya.

A Chechen spokesman said on Thursday that Mr Kadyrov’s invitation was still good. “We confirm: if Depardieu wants to live in the Chechen Republic, this will be received as joyful news,” spokesman Alvi Karimov told Moscow Echo radio. “He will receive all the conditions required for a good life and creative work.”

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  1. Astat
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Who’s next? Jean-Michel Jarre? Russia can embrace them all. Thank you, Mr. Hollande.. ot should I say comrade Hollande?

  2. Alex Kruglov
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m pure Russian and I’m living in Russia now. In 1917 the French Republic has welcomed our victims of Russian Socialist Revolution…Today we’re ready to offer a refuge to all victims of French socialist regime of Mr Holland. Maybe we’ll found the broadcasting station “Free France” for moral support of brave French people who’re suffering under socialist tyranny…Don’t despair, my French friends – we’re always with you!

    • shay
      Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      This is the continuation of a French national tradition where successful creative types collaborate with dictatorships.

      I guess if Coco Chanel, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry, Serge Lifar, and Edith Piaf all collaborated with the Nazis, why then can’t Depardeau fraternize with Russia’s modern day Führer Vladimir Putin!

      GD doesn’t care about the slaughtered civilians of Chechnya, nor the dozens of murdered journalists and human rights advocates (none of these crimes being solved), nor the tens of thousands of Russian children who instead of finding American parents will now be forced to eke out an existences in filthy Russian orphanages, among the countless other victims of Putin. GD just cares about money, the pursuit of which once again turns a blind eye to pure concentrated evil.

      • Alex Kruglov
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        Indeed Russia has many problems now…but don’t forget how many civilians were killed by superdemocratic US troops across the world – in Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Afganistan, Vietnam. US democracy is not so far better than Russian current democracy!

        • shay
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          Typical KGB mentality in the above comment, just like Putin at a recent press conference, referencing irrelevant absurd comparisons with the USA. This article is NOT about America, it is about another Putin stunt, this time with Depardieu as the stooge.

          And my God, didn’t Hitler and Napoleon kill a lot of people, like what the hell has that got to do with anything?

  3. Gerard
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I guess, from now on we should call monsieur Depardieu – DeFARTieu, cause his crying for the whole world about changing citizenship is nothing but farting. If it were because of high taxes for millionaires in France, he could have applied for a citizenship of any other country, but, I guess, he was pure and simply seduced by big dirty money he would “earn” in Russia. I just can’t imagine how much Putin and Co payed him to choose Russia as his new motherland.