Russian Federation names action movie star Steven Seagal as envoy for US

Deanna Kelley
August 8, 2018

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

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

According to the ministry, Seagal's role is described as being akin to when "people's diplomacy meets halfway traditional diplomacy", comparing the role as that of a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

Relations between the two countries have been fraught as US intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 elections and have warned it could do so again in the November contests.

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.

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.

CNN has reached out to Seagal's spokesperson for comment.

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He is best known for dispatching baddies using karate chops and knives in a series of trashy 1990s films such as Under Siege and Hard to Kill.

Like Putin, Seagal is an expert in Judo, as well as Akido and Karate. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".

About it reports on Saturday a press-service of the MFA of Russian Federation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with USA actor Steven Seagal after presenting a Russian passport to him during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on November 25, 2016.

Russian Federation is like a second "home" to Seagal. The actor attended Putin's recent swearing-in ceremony in May.

He was also granted Serbian citizenship in 2016.

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

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