Gerard Depardieu is pleased to have 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 on Thursday (03.01.13) and has penned a letter to thank President Vladimir Putin for granting his request to become a national and praised the culture of the country.

In the letter, he said: ''I filed a passport application and I am pleased that it was accepted.

''I love your country, Russia - its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence.''

It has also been claimed that the actor - who was branded ''pathetic'' by France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault over his declaration he would quit the country over its new tough tax measures - spoke to President Hollande on the phone on January 1 and said he was ''disgusted'' with how the French treats ''those who succeed''.

He added in his letter: ''I told [Francois Hollande] that Russia was a great democracy and that it wasn't a country where a prime minister would call a citizen pathetic.''

The actor's friend Arnaud Frilly said the president seemed to listen and wanted to understand his reasons for wanting to leave the country.

He added to French radio station RTL: ''It really wasn't about the fiscal aspect that he was really disgusted, it's was really on the aspect that we spit on those who succeed, on success on initiatives. After a point he'd had enough of it.''

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.