Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving US ties

Putin makes Hollywood star special US-Russia envoy

Details of Steven Seagal’s special Russia-US envoy mission revealed

Somewhat of a Slavic citizenship collector, the star of action movies Under Siege, Hard to Kill, and Out for Justice was also granted Serbian citizenship in 2016, after offering to open an Aikido school in the capital city.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has appointed actor Steven Seagal as a special representative to improve U.S.

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

The actor is now in charge of deepening art, cultural, and youth ties between the two countries.

Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment. "Despite the unfortunate propaganda going on I remain fully committed to working tirelessly towards this end and I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity", Seagal also told TASS.

The 66-year-old could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.

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Born in the USA, the martial arts star gained global fame for roles in the 1980s and '90s like Under Siege.

Seagal is an accomplished martial artist - like Russian President Vladimir Putin. As The Guardian noted, Seagal called Putin "one of the great living world leaders" and even performed with his blues band in Crimea.

Seagal's grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, according to a biography on IMDB. He has become a fixture at Russian film festivals and on Saturday Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a photo of herself with Seagal at a film festival in Baku, Azerbaijan, which she captioned "with a work colleague". Seagal's familiy is originally from Russia, but other celebrities have been granted Russian citizenship for various reasons.

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

"Every country is involved in espionage", Seagal said, USA Today writes.

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