24 Feb 2013

Depardieu now resident of Democratic Street

9:44 am on 24 February 2013

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

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

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

The actor was quoted as telling Russian television that his registered new address, on Demokraticheskaya Street, was quite "symbolic".

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".

The actor, described by Mr Putin as a friend, has developed close ties with Russia, which has a flat 13% personal income tax rate.

He currently appears in an advertisement for Sovietsky Bank's credit card. In 2011, he played the lead role in the film Rasputin, a Franco-Russian production about the life of eccentric monk Grigory Rasputin.

The BBC reports the central Russian region of Mordovia Mr Depardieu will call home is known for its Stalin-era prison camps.