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

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. actor Steven Seagal shake hands after visiting an oceanarium built on Russky Island, where the Eastern Economic Forum takes place, in Russian Far Eastern port of Vladivostok, Russia, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.
AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service

The Russian government on Saturday announced the appointment of actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy on U.S.-Russian humanitarian ties.

In an announcement posted to Facebook, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Seagal’s function will be to “facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges.”

Seagal thanked the Russian government for his new role, describing the appointment as “a great honor.”

“I’ve always tried to do everything possible to help Russian-American relations to improve,” the action movie star told TASS news agency. Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Seagal in a 2016 ceremony and personally presented the actor with a new Russian passport.

At the time, the Kremlin said the decision to grant citizenship to Seagal was driven by the actor’s “warm feelings towards Russia.”

“At the same time, he is a rather well-known actor, which became the reason for granting him Russian Federation citizenship,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Seagal was barred from entering Ukraine for five years after attending a concert in Crimea.

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