Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving U.S. ties

Brenda Watkins
August 6, 2018

Seagal, who became a Russian citizen in 2016, is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Federation has appointed the USA actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy to improve ties with the United States.

Russian Foreign Ministry which made the announcement on Facebook late on Saturday said Seagal will be tasked with furthering "Russian-American relations".

The foreign ministry said the unpaid role will be similar to the United Nations' goodwill ambassador positions.

The statement reads that 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'.

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"I've always tried to do everything possible to help Russian-American relations to improve", Seagal, who hold both Russian and United States passports, said to TASS news agency. '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'.

While Seagal is popular in Russian Federation, he has been accused in the USA of sexual misconduct.

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

Mr. Seagal, 66, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. In 2016, Serbian state media reported that the government had offered Seagal citizenship for offering to open a martial arts academy in Belgrade. He said he had called Putin "ONE of the World's Great Leaders". Whatever the case may be, Steven Seagal is honored that he was chosen to take on his new role to improve relations.

A Kremlin spokesperson cited Seagal's "warm feelings toward Russia" and his celebrity status as reasons for the gesture, according to Reuters. Seagal has said that it's "stupid" to think that Russian Federation or any other country has the technology to tamper with voting.

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