The full text of the letter in English:
Yes, I made this passport application and I'm pleased to say that it was accepted. I adore your country, Russia – its men, its history, its writers. I love to make films there, and love to tour with your actors, such as Vladimir Mashkov. I adore your culture, your intelligence.
My father was a communist, he listened to Radio Moscow! This is also my culture. In Russia you can live well. Not so much in Moscow, which is too large a megapolis for me. I prefer the countryside and I know some marvellous places in Russia.
One place I love, for example, is the place where the Gosfilmofond (Russian Film Archives), directed by my friend Nikolai Borodachev, is located. On the edge of the birch forests I feel a sense of well-being. And I will be learning Russian.
I have also spoken to my President, François Hollande. I told him all of this. He knows that I like your President, Vladimir Putin very much, and that the feeling is reciprocal. And I told him that Russia was a great democracy and was not a country where the prime minister treated a citizen shabbily.
I really like the press, but it's also really boring, as there is too often a uniformity of thought. However, out of respect for your president and for your great country, I have nothing more to add.
If I have anything more to say about Russia, it would be this piece of prose that has come to mind:
It is only in a country as big as this that one is never alone,
As each tree, each landscape brings hope to us,
There is no pettiness in Russia, there are only great feelings,
And behind these feelings a great sense of decency.
In your immensity I never feel alone,
Translation: The Local