Russia Appoints Actor Steven Seagal as Humanitarian Envoy to U.S.

Alexei Druzhinin  TASS

The Russian Embassy to the U.S. revealed the news via its official Facebook page, announcing that the Russian Foreign Ministry had appointed Seagal, 66, a "special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties", the ministry said.

Seagal is an accomplished martial artist - like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Actor Steven Seagal on Sunday embraced his new role as a "special representative" of the Russian Foreign Ministry, saying he takes the role "very seriously".

The announcement comes with Russia-US ties at a low ebb, over long-standing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, which Moscow rejects.

"It's a case of people's diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy", the ministry said of the appointment, likening Seagal's role to that of a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

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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.

"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", state-funded TV channel RT cited Seagal as saying on Saturday. Back in 2013, Seagal was Putin's choice to lead a special diplomatic envoy.

He called Putin a personal friend and expressed a desire to improve relations between the United States and Russian Federation. The Putin-Seagal love affair has now taken a more interesting turn because as of now the semi-retired actor is being counted on to improve U.S.

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 has been a regular visitor to Russia for years, and Putin granted the American actor a Russian passport in 2016.

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