Monday, 17 December, 2018

Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving US ties

Alexei Druzhinin  TASS Alexei Druzhinin TASS
Ella Tate | 06 August, 2018, 09:29

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Seagal has been appointed to a new role, which will apparently be unpaid.

The American actor was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and is said to enjoy a friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Hollywood star Steven Seagal, who was granted Russian citizenship back in 2016, is going to be Moscow's special representative on humanitarian relations with the US.

The once-prolific actor has been recruited to deepen ties with the U.S.in the humanitarian field, assisting "cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges", according to Russia's foreign ministry. He will receive no salary, the Ministry said, adding, "It's a case of people's diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy".

"I've always tried to do everything possible to help Russian-American relations to improve", Seagal, who hold both Russian and United States passports, said to TASS news agency.

Vintage World War II plane crashes in Switzerland, 20 feared dead
Officials said 11 men and nine women were killed, most from Switzerland but also a couple and their son from Austria. He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft".

Long before Seagal and Putin became buds, the dual citizen tried in jest to influence the Russian president's reputation overseas.

Seagal has been closely connected to Putin over the past few years, even attending the Russian president's swearing-in ceremony after this year's Russian election earlier this year.

Seagal, who occasionally appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment. 'I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially'.

According to Seagal's own website, the 66-year-old has been a regular visitor to Russian Federation for over a decade.

Steven Seagal, a martial artist, is popular in Europe and Russian circles for his action movies.

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