Putin makes Hollywood star special US-Russia envoy

Putin makes Hollywood star special US-Russia envoy

The unpaid position was likened to that of a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement said that Seagal's task will be to "foster the further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interactions in.culture, the arts, public and youth exchanges and so forth".

Seagal, 66, starred in Hollywood action movies such as Above The Law (1988), Hard To Kill (1990), and Under Siege (1992).

Russian Federation has appointed action movie star Steven Seagal as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

In an unorthodox selection, movie star Steven Seagal has been named as Russia's special representative to the U.S.

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.

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"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations. 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.

According to the same outlet, the actor is known to be a long-time supporter of Russian Federation, and he has visited the country on numerous ocassions.

CNN has reached out Seagal's spokesperson for comment. Seagal received Russian citizenship in 2016. The two have attended several martial arts events together.

A 7th-dan black belt in the Japanese martial art Aikido, he was the first foreigner to open a dojo of the style in Japan, a feat few non-Japanese martial artists achieve. Seagal's familiy is originally from Russia, but other celebrities have been granted Russian citizenship for various reasons.

He said he had called Putin "one of the world's great leaders"; he described the Russian president as a personal friend and expressed a desire to improve relations between the United States and Russia. Seagal said: "I'll never, ever falter".

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