Russia appoints Hollywood star Seagal as envoy for US

Actor Steven Seagal attends the SMASH Global V pre Oscar fight at Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles California

The 66-year-old star of "Marked for Death" was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and has defended Putin's policies, including the 2014 annexing of Crimea.

Russian Foreign Ministry wrote on Facebook earlier that "Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian foreign ministry's special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties".

Russia has appointed actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy to improve Russian-U.S. ties.

Actor Steven Seagal is seen here speaking to CNN on January 25, 2013. "I take this honour very seriously".

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The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal's new role to that of a United Nations goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.

According to the statement, the action star's role will be to promote US-Russia relations "in the humanitarian sphere", adding that the role will include collaboration "in the sphere of culture, public and youth exchanges". He attended Putin's recent swearing-in ceremony in May. President Vladimir Putin and Seagal are close friends, which is more than likely why this new position was given. But Seagal has faced some criticism for his bromance with the controversial Russian leader: He has praised Putin's annexation of Crimea, for example, and last year, Kiev banned him from entering Ukraine for five years, claiming he has "committed socially risky actions" that could threaten their security.

Russian Federation isn't the only country offering overtures to Seagal. While that may seem, let's say, confusing, it's not a complete shock if you've kept track of Seagal and his russophilia in the last few years.

In the interview, Seagal also praised Putin as "a great world leader" and a "brilliant tactician".

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