Russian President Vladimir Putin must be a big fan of “Cyrano de Bergerac” or just really love scooters, because he has granted French actor Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship. Depardieu is seeking to leave France because of a planned 75 percent tax on French residents making over 1 million euros that Socialist President Francois Hollande is looking to impose on the country.
Reuters reports that a spokesperson for the Kremlin has confirmed Depardieu applied for Russian citizenship in December. This comes after Putin told reporters at a news conference, “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.”
This isn’t the only location the 63-year-old is considering. He reportedly is also thinking of moving to Belgium, where he already has a house, or to Montenegro, where he owns a business. Russia has a flat income tax rate of 13 percent, which is likely pretty appealing to the beloved French star.
If Depardieu doesn’t end up moving to Russia, the Kremlin spokesperson says there will be no hard feelings as the offer was “absolutely not mandatory.” Hollande’s 75 percent tax was blocked in December by France’s Constitutional Council, but Reuters reports that the president “plans to propose redrafted legislation which will ‘still ask more of those who have the most.'”