The French actor Gerard Depardieu has received his passport after being granted Russian citizenship, saying he was leaving France to avoid proposed tax increases.
"There was a short meeting and Depardieu was handed his passport," Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Russian television showed the two men embracing and then chatting over dinner.
But the Russian leader did not personally hand over the document when the two met at Mr Putin's residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Depardieu showed off the passport after arriving in Saransk, about 300 miles east of the capital Moscow on Sunday.
The local governor invited him to settle in the provincial town and offered him an apartment of his choice, according to reports on state television.
Depardieu has not said where he will take up residence in Russia, only that he did not want to live in Moscow because it was too big and he would prefer a village.
The actor is opposed to proposed tax increases for French citizens earning more than €1m (£818,000).
President Putin surprised many at his end-of-year news conference in December by saying he was ready to offer the 64-year-old a Russian passport to resolve the row.
The Cyrano de Bergerac and Green Card star has become a frequent face on the Moscow celebrity circuit and is well known after appearing in a number of advertising campaigns.
He worked in the country in 2011 on a film about the eccentric Russian monk Grigory Rasputin.
But French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has called Depardieu unpatriotic at a time when the French are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce a large national debt.