Russia names Steven Seagal special envoy to U.S.

Alexei Druzhinin  TASS

Alexei Druzhinin TASS

In November 2016, the Kremlin announced that Seagal had received Russian citizenship.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on the appointment of Mr. Seagal on August 4.

"I hope we can strive for peace, harmony and positive results in the world".

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it had appointed the action star as a "special representative" for Russian-American humanitarian relations. "The task is to promote the further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interaction in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges and more", it added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with US actor Steven Seagal after presenting a Russian passport to him during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on November 25, 2016.

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In response to the notably unpaid engagement, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured" on Twitter. "I take this honor very seriously". The actor attended Putin's recent swearing-in ceremony in May.

The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has robustly defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticised the United States government. The foreign ministry said that Seagal was to combine "people's diplomacy and traditional diplomacy", much like a United Nations' goodwill ambassador.

Seagal does seem particularly interested in the former Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin and Seagal are close friends, which is more than likely why this new position was given. He's also visited with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko.

In 2014, Seagal posted a statement on his website to clarify that he had been misquoted by media outlets saying he called Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, the world's greatest leader.

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