French icon Gerard Depardieu just ditched his homeland to become a Russian citizen to avoid high taxes ... and the controversial move had to be approved by none other than Vladimir Putin.
Gerard has been outraged by the French president's attempt to bump up taxes on super-rich frenchies to 75%.
The "Green Card" star enacted Plan B -- applying for citizenship in Russia ... where they only have a flat income tax of 13%.
Gerard's request went up the chain at the Kremlin ... and today President Putin put his stamp on the request. No word on where Depardieu plans to live in Russia.
Chalk up another loss for France.