President Vladimir Putin grants Russian citizenship to US boxer Roy Jones Jr

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday granted citizenship to US boxer Roy Jones Jr after the American asked for a passport over tea in Moscow-annexed Crimea.

AFP| Updated: Sep 12, 2015, 18:36 PM IST
President Vladimir Putin grants Russian citizenship to US boxer Roy Jones Jr

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin on Saturday granted citizenship to US boxer Roy Jones Jr after the American asked for a passport over tea in Moscow-annexed Crimea.

The Kremlin on Saturday released a decree granting citizenship to Jones, who met Putin in August while visiting the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

The 46-year-old pugilist won world titles in four different weight categories before branching out into music and acting.

At his meeting with Putin, Jones told the president he loved Russia and a passport would make it easier for him to visit regularly.

Putin replied he would be "glad" to fulfil his request "if you intend to link a significant part of your life with activities in Russia."

Boxing promoter Vladimir Khryunov, who works with Jones in Russia, later said his protege would not renounce US citizenship.

Russia has a history of granting citizenship to flamboyant Westerners, including French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was handed a Russian passport in 2013 after he lambasted France`s tax laws.