Gerard Depardieu’s Next Tax-Dodging Stop: Russia?

Actor Gerard Depardieu, who's been battling a proposed tax hike on millionaires in his native France, has been granted Russian citizenship

Actor Gerard Depardieu, who's been battling  a tax hike on millionaires that's been proposed in his native France, could be moving to Russia soon.

Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted the "Green Card" star citizenship, according to a statement released by the Kremlin on Thursday.

"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 statement reads.

Also read: Gerard Depardieu Takes the Piss in Parody of Airline Incident (video)

Depardieu set up residency in a Belgian town bordering on France in late 2012, has publicly slammed a tax hike proposed by the French government's that would increase the tax rate on earnings over $1 million to 75 percent from its current 41 percent.

Even if the tax hike fails to go through, Depardieu could stand to make out much better by switching his residency to Russia, which has a flat 13-percent tax rate.

"I have never killed anyone, I don't think I've been unworthy, I've paid €145 million (about $190 million) in taxes over 45 years," Depardieu seethed in an open letter to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in December.

Ayrault had previously slammed the actor as "pathetic" for his protest of the tax hike. Depardieu has countered, "I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called 'pathetic.'"

It is unclear whether Depardieu, 64, will take Putin up on his offer or whether Depardieu requested citizenship; a representative for the actor did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.