January 03, 2013 16:07:32 GMT
The Obelix depicter reportedly applies for Russian citizenship after the President publicly vows to welcome him in the country should he want to move out of his homeland.
Gerard Depardieu could be moving from his home country of France to Russia. The "Life of Pi" actor, who publicly vows to give up his French citizenship in protest over the country's tax hike on the rich, has been granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin.
"In accordance with Article 89(a) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the President ordered to satisfy an application for citizenship of the Russian Federation by Gerard Xavier Depardieu, who was born in 1948 in France," the Kremlin says in a statement.
The "Asterix & Obelix" actor and his camp haven't said a word to confirm the news, but he did say that he would consider fleeing to Russia to escape France's high taxes. "Putin has already sent me a passport," he jokingly said as quoted by French daily Le Monde in December.
While Gerard's camp is reluctant to offer any comment, a Kremlin rep says the actor indeed has applied for citizenship after Putin said last month that the actor would be welcomed in the country. "The citizenship could not have been granted to him without (such an) appeal," the rep utters.
"I'm sure the French authorities did not want to offend Mr Depardieu," the Russian President said in a news conference. "But 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."
Russia, however, is not the only country Gerard considers as his destination if he really decides to quit his homeland. The 64-year-old star once said he's also thinking about living in Belgium where he had bought a house across the border, or moving to Montenegro where he has a business.
There's no word whether Gerard will be settling in Russia now that the President has bestowed Russian citizenship on him, but the Kremlin spokesperson says that it's up to the actor and moving to the country was "absolutely not mandatory."