Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry’s ‘special representative’

Seagal takes credit U.S.-Russia meeting

Seagal takes credit U.S.-Russia meeting

Actor Steven Seagal speaks at a news conference, while attending an opening ceremony for a research and development center in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 22, 2015. Seagal will not accept a salary for apprising the role, akin to a United Nations' goodwill ambassador position both in terms of penance and responsibility.

Relations between the two countries have been fraught as USA intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 elections and have warned it could do so again in the November contests.

As for Russian and United States relations now, things are a bit contentious, to say the least. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine. Trump and Seagal have both said over the years that the United States would greatly benefit from a strong relationship with Russian Federation.

CNN has reached out to Seagal's spokesperson for comment.

Seagal's films, which often highlight his martial arts skills, are popular in Europe.

Seagal received Russian citizenship back in 2016, where he's been outspoken in his defence of Putin, even calling him a "great, great, great world leader, maybe, the greatest". Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".

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Seagal's grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, according to a biography on IMDB.

The actor who is also a Russian citizen, confirmed the appointment on his Instagram page on Monday.

For more than a decade Seagal, who according to his own website is 66, has been a regular visitor to Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to USA actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve. Later that month, Putin, who has been described as a fan of the martial arts that Seagal practices in his movies, personally presented the actor with a Russian passport.

In a video of the event, Putin and Seagal shake hands.

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