French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, has formally registered as a resident of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk after a tax-related investigation in the Mordovia region.
A Depardieu spokeswoman, Yulia Mosman, said on December 3 that the actor will not live in Novosibirsk but plans to make frequent visits to the city, 2,800 kilometers east of Moscow.
The Novosibirsk Regional Culture Ministry wrote on Facebook earlier in the day that Depardieu met with ministry officials and visited the Novosbirsk Regional Opera and Ballet Theater.
Depardieu, 69, was given Russian citizenship by presidential decree in 2013 after publicly criticizing the French authorities over a proposed 75 percent tax on the rich and taking up residence abroad.
Authorities in the Mordovia region at the time provided Depardieu with an apartment in the regional capital, Saransk, 500 kilometers east of Moscow, where he registered as a resident before leaving Russia.
Earlier this year, authorities in Mordovia reportedly launched an investigation into alleged tax debt owed by Depardieu.
The probe was reportedly dropped two weeks later, after officials were unable to find property belonging to Depardieu to impound.
Local authorities said at the time that the apartment they provided to Depardieu belonged to another person.
The Kremlin has awarded Russian citizenship to a number of prominent foreigners from the West in recent years, including U.S. actor Steven Seagal, U.S. boxer Roy Jones Jr., and former cycling world champion Shane Perkins of Australia.
Depardieu was also made an honorary citizen of Belgium in 2013, after sparring with the French government over a proposed tax of 75 percent on revenue over 1 million euros.