Gerard Depardieu has been granted Russian citizenship.
The 63-year-old French actor - who moved to Belgium in December over his anger at French President Francois Hollande's proposed 75 per cent tax hike on the super-rich - officially became a Russian citizen yesterday morning (3 December) after President Vladimir Putin accepted his request to become a national.
Kremlin officials confirmed the news on Twitter, posting: "Vladimir Putin signs order giving Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship."
Asterix and Obelix actor Gerard is well-known in Russia and a regular in TV ads for Sovietsky Bank.
The controversial actor put his £40-million Parisian home on the market and moved to tax-friendly Belgium last month, declaring in an open letter that he planned to turn over his passport and French social security card because of Hollande's new tax on millionaires.
France's civil code states that a person must take up a new nationality in order to relinquish their French citizenship.
He ranted: "We no longer have the same homeland, I am a true European, a citizen of the world, as my father always taught me to believe."
Gerard has become notorious for his erratic behaviour in recent years, most memorably when he urinated into a bottle on an airplane when he was denied permission to use the on-board toilet.