GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - French actor Gérard Depardieu is not letting his tax battle with the new Socialist government in France die down lately, with his announcement that he has taken up Russian citizenship after being invited to do so by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The news of a decree to that effect signed by Putin comes just days after Depardieu told Paris that he would be renouncing his French citizenship over proposed new tax rules for those who earn more than one million euros a year, and that he intended to become Belgian. He recently bought a piece of property in Belgium, on the border with France. Sunday the actor said he intends to go ahead with the move to his new Belgian home.
Depardieu is well-known in Russia, where he has taken part in a number of film festivals and appeared in productions, as well as in advertisements for a number of products, reports Le Monde, including ones for catsup, a bank and a food store.