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Russia names Steven Seagal special envoy to U.S.

09 August 2018

The two have attended several martial arts events together.

The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has vocally defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticized the USA government.

After being announced as Russia's special representative on humanitarian relations with the USA, the exact nature of Hollywood star and martial artist Steven Seagal's mission has been revealed.

President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to USA actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.

"I am deeply humbled and honored to have been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of Russian and American Humanitarian ties", Seagal tweeted. He has become a fixture at Russian film festivals and on Saturday Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a photo of herself with Seagal at a film festival in Baku, Azerbaijan, which she captioned "with a work colleague".

"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", RT cited Seagal as saying. Seagal's familiy is originally from Russia, but other celebrities have been granted Russian citizenship for various reasons.

According to Reuters, Seagal's movies - Under Siege and Sniper: Special Ops, in particular - are popular with Russian audiences.

Later that month, Mr Putin, who has been described as a fan of the martial arts that Seagal practices in his movies, personally presented the actor with a Russian passport.

The adimiration appears to be mutual.

Apart from his commitments with Russia, Seagal has co-signed dubious cryptocurrency schemes and has been accused by numerous women, including Portia De Rossi and Bond actress Rachel Grant, of abuse and sexual harassment. As Newsweek reported, after getting his Serbian citizenship, the actor vowed to bring business and Hollywood to the Balkan country. Serbia, which is looking to join the European Union, has refused to sever its ties with Russian Federation.

Russia names Steven Seagal special envoy to U.S.