AP NEWS

Steven Seagal, actor, appointed Russian envoy to United States

August 4, 2018

Steven Seagal has been named Moscow’s envoy to the United States for “humanitarian ties,” the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Saturday.

The “Under Siege” star will serve as “special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of Russian-American humanitarian ties,” the ministry said in a statement.

The unpaid position involves fostering bilateral relations in the fields of “culture, art, public and youth exchanges,” according to Moscow.

“It is the case when people’s diplomacy meets halfway traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said in the statement. “As for international practice, you can draw a parallel with the functions of United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors.”

Mr. Seagal, 66, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Born in Lansing, Michigan, Mr. Seagal gained fame in the 1990s for his roles in “Under Siege” and other major action movies prior appearing in a slew of less successful films and direct-to-video releases.

More recently, Mr. Seagan received Russian citizenship in 2016 and was personally handed his Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin.

“You have many friends in this country and you have professional plans as well. Naturally, Russian citizenship and a Russian passport will make it easier for you to meet your friends and carry out your plans,” Mr. Putin said at the time.

“I always felt that USA and Russia should be best friends and allies. Despite the unfortunate propaganda going on I remain fully committed to work tirelessly towards this end and I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity,” Mr. Seagal said previously.

In 2014, Mr. Seagal called the Russian president “one of the greatest world leaders if not the greatest world leader alive today.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly