Russia appoints movie star Seagal US envoy
Celebrated action movie star Steven Seagal, who is a Russian citizen, has been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of the Russian-US humanitarian ties, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.
“Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties,” the ministry said on its Facebook page. “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.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has explained that the position is public and is not expected to be paid, TASS news agency reported.
“It is the case when people’s diplomacy meets halfway with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said. “As for international practice, you can draw a parallel with the functions of United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors.”
Born in the United States, actor Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016. He often comes to Russia, repeatedly expressing his affection for the country, according to TASS news agency.
Seagal, an accomplished martial art artist who has starred in several action movies, has vocally defended Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies, including Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has often criticized the US government.