Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting Russian citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu.
Although Depardieu is not known to have asked for a Russian passport, Putin said last month his country was ready to welcome the 63-year-old celebrity, who is embroiled in a bitter tax dispute with France's government.
The French daily "Le Monde" has reported that Depardieu told his friends he was considering moving to Belgium, where he owns a home, relocating to Montenegro, where he has a business, or fleeing to Russia to escape France's new tax regime.
France's Socialist President Francois Hollande plans to impose a 75 percent tax on income over 1 million euros ($1.3 million).
Russia has a flat income-tax rate of 13 percent.
Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and Reuters