Russian Federation tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving US ties

Alexei Druzhinin  TASS

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

Like Putin, Seagal is an expert in Judo, as well as Akido and Karate. But now Steven Seagal has been named by Russia's Foreign Ministry for a different goal - he's now a special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties, a role created to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries.

While Seagal is popular in Russian Federation, he has been accused in the United States of sexual misconduct. According to the statement, the position is unpaid and is similar to the role played by the United Nations' goodwill ambassadors. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

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"I am deeply humbled and honoured to have been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of Russian and American Humanitarian ties", Seagal tweeted.

The 66-year-old action star, who appeared in more than 60 movies, including "Above the Law" and 'Under Siege, ' said that he was "sincerely grateful" to the Russian Foreign Ministry for the opportunity. Back in 2013, Seagal was Putin's choice to lead a special diplomatic envoy. "Naturally, Russian citizenship and a Russian passport will make it easier for you to meet your friends and carry out your plans", Mr. Putin said at the time. Trump and Seagal have both said over the years that the United States would greatly benefit from a strong relationship with Russian Federation.

Seagal, whose paternal grandparents were Russian Jews, is one of a series of fading western stars who have become political trophies for the Kremlin by taking up Russian citizenship. Seagal says: "I'll never, ever falter".

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

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