Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Life&Culture | By Ben Goodman

Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry's 'special representative'

Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry's 'special representative'

"I've always tried to do everything possible to help Russian-American relations to improve", the action movie star told TASS news agency.

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's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, and the actor and Putin share a passion for martial arts. "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 ministry likened the role to that of a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

Since then, U.S. -Russia relations have only got worse however with U.S. intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of interfering in Donald Trump's White House run, an allegation Russian Federation denies.

Mr. Seagal, 66, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Also that year, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher credited Seagal with facilitating meetings for a congressional delegation that visited Russian Federation in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings to investigate the suspects' backgrounds and discuss intelligence sharing issues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U Steven Seagal while visiting an oceanarium at Russky Island in the far eastern city of Vladivostok September 4, 2015. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".

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He said the United States had committed $113m to new investments in cybersecurity and the digital economy, energy and infrastructure spending.

He called Putin a personal friend and expressed a desire to improve relations between the United States and Russian Federation.

Seagal thanked the Russian government for his new role, describing the appointment as "a great honor".

Seagal was also granted Serbian citizenship in 2016, following several visits to the Balkan country.

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

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

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