For the previous decade, the French actor Gérard Depardieu has been one of many closest Western celebrities to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
In 2013, the film star turned a Russian citizen to keep away from taxes in France. In a letter to Russian state television on the time, Mr. Depardieu mentioned, “I like your president, Vladimir Putin, very a lot and it’s mutual.” Mr. Putin awarded Mr. Depardieu Russian citizenship at a particular dinner that 12 months.
As tensions between Russia and Ukraine had been rising final month, Mr. Depardieu even went on French tv to say, “Go away Vladimir alone.”
Now, Mr. Depardieu has taken a stunning step towards ruining that cherished friendship when, on Tuesday, the actor denounced the battle in Ukraine in an interview with Agence France-Presse, the French information service. “Russia and Ukraine have all the time been brother international locations,” Mr. Depardieu mentioned. “I’m in opposition to this fratricidal battle,” he added. “I say, ‘Cease the weapons and negotiate.’”
Greatest recognized for Nineties films together with “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Green Card,” Mr. Depardieu later posted a part of his assertion on Instagram. His agent didn’t reply to an interview request.
Mr. Depardieu’s feedback are unlikely to alter many Ukrainians’ views of the actor. In 2015, the Ukrainian government included Mr. Depardieu on an inventory of cultural figures who had been a menace to the nation’s safety. It didn’t state a motive, however Ukrainian newspapers linked the choice to feedback Mr. Depardieu had made questioning Ukraine’s independence. In 2014, on the Baltic Pearl film competition in Latvia, Mr. Depardieu told reporters that he cherished each Russia and “Ukraine, which is a part of Russia.”
The French tax exile isn’t the one well-known actor to have taken Russian citizenship: Steven Seagal, the American-born star of motion films like “Under Siege,” was naturalized in 2016. On Thursday, Mr. Seagal’s representatives didn’t instantly reply to a request to debate the actor’s views on the battle in Ukraine.
Lately, Mr. Depardieu has been within the information for controversies apart from his Russia connections. In 2018, French prosecutors investigated rape allegations against him, however dropped the case the next 12 months because of a lack of evidence.