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Gérard Depardieu given Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin?

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Gérard Depardieu has reportedly been granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin.

The French actor recently stated that he will be giving up his passport after the government criticised him over plans to move abroad to avoid recent tax rises.

Gerard Depardieu

© WENN

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

© PA Images / Sergei Grits/AP



A brief statement on the Kremlin website states: "Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting Russian citizenship to Gérard Depardieu."

Last month, Putin said that he would be happy for Depardieu to move to his country, saying: "I'm sure the French authorities did not want to offend Mr Depardieu. But if he'd like to have a Russian passport, consider it settled."

Depardieu has yet to officially confirm the announcement from the Kremlin.

New French legislation states that anyone earning over €1 million (£813,935/$1.32 million) will face a 75% rate of income tax. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was said to have branded Depardieu "pathetic" for purchasing a Belgian property in Nelchin.

Vladimir Putin has described the French actor as a successful businessman and a friend.

Depardieu already has connections with Russia, and currently stars in an advertisement for Sovetsky Bank's credit card.

He also played the lead role in Rasputin, a Franco-Russian biopic of infamous monk Grigori Rasputin. He has also raised money for a children's hospital in St Petersburg.

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