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U.S. Actor Steven Segal Appointed Russia’s Special Envoy to the United States

The unpaid position for the B-movie star, who has been a Russian citizen since 2016, is similar to that of a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

6 August 2018

In recognition of his love and support of all things Russian, and presumably of his close friendship with the country’s leader Vladimir Putin, American actor Steven Seagal can add the title of Russian special representative to the United States to his long and colorful CV.

 

"Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties," the Russian Embassy in the U.S. wrote on Facebook, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry. "The task is to facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on."

 

Seagal wrote on Twitter that he was “deeply humbled” by the appointment, adding that he hoped “we can strive for peace, harmony, and positive results in the world. I take this honor very seriously.”

 

 

The actor has been a Russian citizen since November 2016.

 

Seagal expressed his commitment to Russia after becoming a citizen, saying that he "lived here often,” felt “very at home,” and “loved it here," Russian state-owned news agency TASS wrote in 2017. The actor added that, all the same, he remained a globetrotter because of his job, which required him to make movies all around the world, and also because of his seven children, who live in various places.

 

While some might doubt his diplomatic credentials, Seagal has not been shy about sharing his views on the ties between the two countries. “I always felt that the U.S. and Russia should be best friends and allies. 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.

 

He has called the investigation into the Russian involvement in U.S. elections “propaganda,” according to USA Today.

 

"Every country is involved in espionage," Seagal said, USA Today writes. "We all spy on each other. Let's be honest. However, for anyone to think that Vladimir Putin had anything to do with fixing the elections or even that the Russians have that kind of technology is stupid."

 

However, the Michigan-born actor also had to pay a price for his allegiances. Similarly to French actor Gerard Depardieu, who also has Russian citizenship, Seagal was banned in 2017 for five years from entering Ukraine after expressing his support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, The Telegraph wrote at the time. "In addition to my black belt, I'm now on a black list," the actor said in reaction, according to his spokesperson.

 

 

  • Putin had previously proposed Seagal for the position of honorary consul of Russia in California and Arizona in 2013, Buzzfeed News wrote, citing U.S. officials. Then-president Barack Obama was “flabbergasted” at the suggestion.

 

  • Seagal has also befriended other Eastern European leaders not exactly in the West’s good books. Two years ago, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka welcomed Seagal at his private residence at Ozerny, north of Minsk, showering him with gifts that included a book and a dagger. Later on, the two admired together that year’s crop of carrots and watermelons.

 

  • Seagal has claimed that his father was a Russian Mongol, and described himself as “Russian” even before receiving Russian citizenship. Further advancing his credentials in the Slavic world is his Serbian citizenship, which he received in early 2016, prior to the Russian one, after he offered to set up an Aikido dojo in Belgrade.

 

  • Since February, Seagal has also become the brand ambassador for a cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin 2nd Generation, or Bitcoiin2Gen. “As a Buddhist, Zen teacher, and healer, Steven lives by the principles that the development of the physical self is essential to protect the spiritual man … These are precisely the objectives of the Bitcoiin2Gen to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem, and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third party,” read the press release announcing his appointment.

Compiled by Ioana Caloianu

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