- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) - Local news reports say Ukraine has banned actor Gerard Depardieu from entering the country for five years.

Depardieu in 2013 took Russian citizenship in a bid to escape high taxes in his native France. He has recently attracted the anger of Ukrainian authorities by supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year.

The news website Apostrof on Tuesday published what it said was a letter from Ukraine’s national security service, the SBU, saying Depardieu has been banned “in the interest of ensuring the security of our state.”

The Interfax news agency quoted security spokeswoman Elena Gitlanskaya as saying that the ban came at the behest of the culture ministry. The ministry this month drafted a list of actors, musicians and other cultural figures it considers security threats.

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