WASHINGTON — Steven Seagal has been appointed a special representative for the Russian government to promote “Russian-American humanitarian ties,” the Russian foreign ministry announced on its Facebook page.
“The task is to promote the further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interaction in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges and more,” the foreign ministry said.
The action movie star of “Hard to Kill” and “Above the Law” is a longtime supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is a Russian citizen. He signed his Russian passport in Putin’s presence in a ceremony in 2016.
The foreign ministry said that Seagal will not be paid for his work.
“The very case when folk diplomacy meets diplomacy traditional. In international practice, there are parallels with the functions of the un goodwill ambassadors,” the foreign ministry said.
According to RT, Seagal told Russian news service Tass, “I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations. 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.”
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Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan. He supported the Russian annexation of Crimea. Last year, he was banned from Ukraine for five years, apparently because of his support for Putin’s policies.