Gerard Depardieu Registered as Russian Resident

World | February 23, 2013, Saturday // 18:07| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Gerard Depardieu Registered as Russian Resident After the ceremony, the actor beamed and proclaimed a few words in Russian. Photo by BBC

French actor Gerard Depardieu has been formally registered as a permanent resident of the central Russian town of Saransk.

The actor sought Russian citizenship after the French government criticised his decision to move abroad to avoid higher taxes.

Depardieu is now registered as living at No 1, Democracy Street in Saransk, in the region of Mordovia.

After the ceremony, the actor beamed and proclaimed a few words in Russian.

"Glory! Glory to Saransk, glory to Mordovia, glory to Russia!" he said.

He was quoted as telling Russian television that his registered new address, on Demokraticheskaya [Democratic] Street, was quite "symbolic".

On Friday, after visiting Moscow's famed Bolshoi Theatre and the Illuzion cinema, Depardieu said he was very familiar with Russian culture.

"I love it very much. I also know your composers. I can say that I was born with Russian culture."

International agencies point out that the central Russian region of Mordovia Depardieu will call home is known for its Stalin-era prison camps.

The French star's highly publicised tax row began last year after President Francois Hollande said he would raise taxes to 75% for those earning more than 1m euros.

The actor accused the socialist government of punishing "success, creation and talent", and announced in early December that he would move to Belgium.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault branded his decision to move abroad as "shabby and unpatriotic".

Depardieu was granted Russian citizenship by a decree signed by Vladimir Putin on 3 January.

Russia has a flat 13% personal income tax rate.

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