Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today
LONDON - The French actor Gerard Depardieu has been granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has announced.
In a brief message sent out over Twitter on Thursday morning, Kremlin officials wrote, "Vladimir Putin signs order giving Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship."
Depardieu, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1990 film by the same name, is upset by French President Francois Hollande's attempt to raise wealth taxes on the mega-rich to 75%. Russia, by contrast, has a flat income tax of 13%.
Late last year the film star announced that he would be moving to Belgium to avoid what he saw as France's onerous tax system.
Depardieu is said to be well-known in Russian circles, frequently appearing in ads.
A representative for Depardieu declined to say whether he had accepted Russia's offer and refused all comment, the Associated Press reported.