Putin gives tax exile Depardieu Russian citizenship

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to Gerard Depardieu, the French movie star who is quitting his homeland to avoid a tax hike on the rich, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

The “Cyrano de Bergerac” actor bought a house across the border in Belgium last year to avoid a new tax rate for millionaires in France planned by Socialist President Francois Hollande but said he could also seek tax exile elsewhere.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Depardieu had applied for citizenship after Putin told reporters last month the actor would be welcome in Russia. “The citizenship could not have been granted to him without (such an) appeal,” Peskov added.

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