Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry’s ‘special representative’

Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry’s ‘special representative’

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.

Back in 2016, Steven Seagal was awarded Russian citizenship, likely because he was making so many trips to visit his friend Vladimir Putin.

President Putin is also a fan of the kind of martial arts that Seagal often practiced in his Hollywood action movies.

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

Former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul called the appointment of actor Steven Seagal a special representative on US-Russian humanitarian ties "desperate".

The foreign ministry announced the move on its Facebook page, saying Seagal's portfolio in the unpaid position would be to "facilitate relations between Russian Federation and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges".

In 2013, BuzzFeed reported that Putin suggested to President Barack Obama that Seagal serve as an honorary envoy of Russian Federation to help improve relations between the two countries.

Seagal, who occasionally appears on Russian state television, said he welcomed the appointment, Reuters reported. In his first big role in the 1988 movie Above the Law, Seagal played a former Central Intelligence Agency agent, and in one of his latest films, Mercenary: Absolution, he played a contract killer.

In the interview, Seagal also praised Putin as "a great world leader" and a "brilliant tactician".

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

It's not the first time Russian Federation has tried to give Seagal some sort of semi-official status.

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

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