French Actor to Assume Russian Citizenship

Posted January 5th, 2013 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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French actor Gerard Depardieu traveled to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, in Russia, Saturday to meet with President Vladimir Putin and obtain Russian citizenship to dodge higher taxes in France.

Mr. Putin publicly granted Depardieu citizenship on Thursday after the actor expressed dismay over a new French millionaires' tax rate of 75 percent.

In Russia, taxpayers pay a flat 13 percent.

Depardieu recently bought a property in Belgium in hopes of avoiding the French tax.

The French actor, star of movies such as “Green Card” and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” is popular in Russia, where he appears in some television commercials.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has called Depardieu's departure from the country “pathetic.” Depardieu, in turn, has professed his love of Russia and Russian culture.