Depardieu gets Russian 'Green Card'
Russian president Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to French film star Gerard Depardieu, who quit his homeland to avoid a tax hike on the rich.
The Cyrano de Bergerac star moved to Belgium last year to avoid the tax increase planned by Socialist president Francois Hollande and Mr Putin said today he would be welcome to Russia.
"If Gerard really wants to have either a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we will assume that this matter is settled and settled positively," Mr Putin told a news conference last month.
The Kremlin's website said Mr Putin had signed a decree granting Depardieu citizenship. The wording of the statement suggested the 63-year-old actor had applied for it. An assistant to Depardieu declined to comment.
France's Constitutional Council last month blocked the planned 75 per cent tax rate on income over €1 million - but Mr Hollande plans to propose differently worded legislation which will "still ask more of those who have the most".