Russia tasks Hollywood actor with improving US ties

Eloise Marshall
August 8, 2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that USA action film star Steven Seagal has been appointed Russia's special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States.

Steven Seagal, a martial artist, is popular in Europe and Russian circles for his action movies.

In response to the notably unpaid engagement, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured" on Twitter. "Is Seagal a Russian citizen now?" The two nations are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station Russia Today (RT) as welcoming the appointment.

I have worked for many years trying to help good relations between Russian Federation and America. "I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially".

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Seagal received Russian citizenship back in 2016, where he's been outspoken in his defence of Putin, even calling him a "great, great, great world leader, maybe, the greatest".

CNN has reached out to Seagal's spokesperson for comment. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".

Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, Russia, and the two men share a passion for martial arts.

President Donald Trump has been criticized for his reluctance to speak out against Russian Federation or President Vladimir Putin, and the addition to Steven Seagal into the mix isn't going to help matters. There's an ongoing investigation into whether or not, and to what extent, Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, a Russian national is accused of trying to infiltrate and influence the Republican Party, and Donald Trump vacillates between working as a fluffer for Vladimir Putin and then warning that Russians will try to illegally swing the 2018 midterm election to Democrats.

In a video of the event, Putin and Seagal shake hands.

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