MOSCOW- The Kremlin has issued a press release stating that Vladimir Putin had signed a decree on Thursday granting French movie legend Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship if he ever needed it.

The actor confirmed it to his friends in a Parisian restaurant Tuesday: “Putin has already sent me a passport!” reports Le Monde.

Depardieu has shown several times in the past his attachment to this country. He appeared in a commercial for a Russian bank where he proclaimed: “I love Russia and the Russians, I love its immensity, its history and traditions. […] I’m loved in Russia,” according to Europe 1.

See the video here:

Depardieu has been getting a lot of grief from his fellow Frenchmen since he announced he was moving to Belgium for tax purposes and was renouncing his French nationality. 

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