Vladimir Putin offers 'Green Card' actor Gerard Depardieu a Russian passport

Sacre bleu!

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered 'Green Card' actor Gerard Depardieu a Russian passport.

"If Gerard really wants to have a residency permit in Russia, or a Russian passport, we can consider this issue resolved positively," Putin said in a press conference Thursday.

Depardieu said earlier this week that he was giving up his French passport and becoming a Belgian citizen because of France's new tax rate on the rich. Depardieu has already made a Belgian town just minutes from the French border his legal residence.

"I understand the feelings of Gerard Depardieu, but even though he said... that he considers himself a European, a citizen of the world, I know for a fact, since we have a very friendly, personal relationship, that he considers himself a Frenchman," Putin said.

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The French newspaper Le Monde also quoted Depardieu saying "Putin has already sent me a passport."

But a rep for the Russian president told Agence France Press that Putin was "most likely he was joking".