4 January 2013 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Few foreigners seek Russian citizenship and even fewer are granted it, with the tide generally going in the opposite direction

A few hours after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree granting Gérard Depardieu Russian citizenship it was clear the French actor would have little difficulty making new friends in his adopted homeland.

Offers of hospitality came flooding in from across Russia.

The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is accused of widespread human rights abuses, announced that Depardieu could have his pick of any piece of land in his republic. And one of Russia's most famous celebrities, the garrulous TV presenter Tina Kandelaki, said Depardieu was welcome to stay in her flat. "Lets not divide up Depardieu," she wrote on Twitter. "Simply give him to me."

Though he may have numerous social invitations, Depardieu, who has said he wants to renounce his French citizenship because of the government's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, »

- Howard Amos

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