Moscow, Feb 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) French film star Gerard Depardieu, who recently became a Russian citizen, has obtained a permanent residence permit in Mordovia in central Russia.
“All honour to Russia, all honour to Mordovia. This is a region which is not rich in oil and gas but it is rich in people, who embody ideas into life,” Depardieu said after he received a Russian passport with a residence permit stamp on it.
The actor has been registered in an apartment belonging to relatives of his long-time friend, Nikolai Borodachyov, director of the National Film Fund.
Depardieu said he plans to build a private house in the region in the future.
Depardieu said his decision to be registered in Mordovia was not just a formality but a serious and deliberate decision as the actor plans to become a frequent visitor of Russia and Mordovia.
Earlier, Depardieu said he wanted to launch a series of TV programmes based on Russian literature and involving actors from different countries, and to show the series across the globe.
The French star plans to spend several days in Mordovia. During his trip, the actor will visit agricultural plants, a poultry farm, a milk processing plant and a cheese factory.
Depardieu also announced plans to open his own restaurant in the region.
The legendary French actor was given a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in January.
Depardieu renounced his French citizenship ahead of the government’s planned implementation of a 75 percent tax rate for annual earnings above $1.3 million. By comparison, Russia has a fixed 13 percent income tax.
France’s highest court later rejected the controversial government proposal, deeming it discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional.