Come and live in Russia, Putin tells Depardieu
John Lichfield has been The Independent's man in Paris since 1997, covering French news. Before that, he was the paper's Foreign Editor and he has also worked in Brussels and Washington. In 1999, he was the UK press Awards Foreign Reporter of the year.
Thursday 03 January 2013
Vladimir Putin today formally decreed the French actor Gérard Depardieu to be a Russian citizen.
In December the Russian President offered Mr Depardieu a passport after the actor announced he wanted to give up his French citizenship. He had been criticised by the French government for deciding to go into tax exile in Belgium.
While a French constitutional watchdog last week quashed plans to levy 75 per cent tax on incomes above €1m (£800,000), Mr Depardieu has said he still intends to leave France. Although income tax in Russia is a flat 13 per cent, he is not expected to move east.
He is a frequent visitor to Russia and other former Soviet countries, and starred as Rasputin in a joint Franco-Russian production.
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