Washington, Feb 24: Adding a final touch to his quest to get Russian citizenship, French actor Gerard Depardieu has got himself a new permanent address in Russia’s 1 Democracy Street.
Depardieu, after receiving his Russian passport from President Vladimir Putin in January, had it stamped with the new address in Saransk, a city of 300,000 about 400 miles east of Moscow, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The actor has been at the center of a heated debate over tax exiles as France’s Socialist government proposes a hefty tax on the rich, but he has denied that he accepted the passport to escape paying tax.
Saransk is the provincial capital of the Mordovia region, home to a sprawling web of Soviet-era prison camps.
It isn’t clear whether Depardieu will actually live in the apartment, and he has no requirement to spend any particular amount of time there-although he promised to visit the city often.
Depardieu said that he appreciated the symbolism of his new address. He said he wants to be an ambassador of democracy to the world. Russia Today television quoted him, as saying that Russia is a country with a great democracy.
Depardieu, who has starred in films such as ‘Green Card’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, enjoys broad popularity in Russia and received an enthusiastic welcome in the city.
Depardieu’s decision to accept citizenship has drawn sarcastic comments from Putin’s critics, who say the actor is a tool of Kremlin spin. (ANI)