President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to US 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.
On granting Seagal citizenship in 2016, Putin said he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.
Russia appointed actor Steven Seagal as a "special representative" on US-Russian humanitarian ties, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement on its official Facebook page Saturday.
As for the choice of Steven Seagal to be the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative to improve United States and Russian relations, that seems a bit puzzling. "I take this honor very seriously".
The ministry further stated the Seagal's unpaid role will be similar to the United Nations' goodwill ambassador.
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Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, Russia, and the two men share a passion for martial arts. "The task is to facilitate relations between Russian Federation and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on".
After Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Seagal called Putin "one of the great living world leaders" and even performed with his blues band in the annexed Black Sea peninsula.
In 2015, BuzzFeed News reported that two years earlier, Putin had suggested to then-US President Barack Obama that he could make Seagal the honourary Russian consul to California and Arizona.
Russian Federation is like a second "home" to Seagal.
Seagal was seen at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation and was also among the guests when Putin was sworn in for a fourth term in May.