Russia Appoints Steven Seagal to Improve U.S. Cultural Ties

06 August, 2018, 09:25 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Actor Steven Seagal attends the SMASH Global V pre Oscar fight at Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles California

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had made U.S. actor Steven Seagal its special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries. "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".

The Hard To Kill action star is an accomplished martial artist, just like Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Seagal has also been one of Putin's biggest supporters, and defended the Russian leader against charges of USA election meddling during an interview with Piers Morgan on "Good Morning Britain" past year.

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. Seagal will not accept a salary for apprising the role, akin to a United Nations' goodwill ambassador position both in terms of penance and responsibility.

Shortly after the presentation, however, relations between the two countries took a turn for the worse as US intelligence agencies began accusing Moscow of interfering with the election of now-U.S. president Donald Trump. The countries have also been at odds over the Syrian civil war and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Reacting to the appointment, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured".

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He has previously hung out with Russia's Putin, a fellow martial arts fan.

In 2014, Seagal posted a statement on his website to clarify that he had been misquoted by media outlets saying he called Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, the world's greatest leader.

It is the latest honour Russian Federation has bestowed upon Seagal.

In 2015, BuzzFeed News reported that two years earlier, Putin had suggested to then-President Barack Obama that he could make Seagal the honorary Russian consul to California and Arizona.

In November 2016, the Kremlin announced that Seagal had received Russian citizenship.

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