Steven Seagal Named as Russian Diplomat to US

The action star was made a "special representative" on humanitarian issues
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2018 5:00 PM CDT
Steven Seagal Named as Russian Diplomat to US
Steven Seagal speaks at a news conference in 2015 in Moscow.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

Actor Steven Seagal has taken on a new role, though it's not likely the kind you'd expect. Per the AP, the Under Siege star has been appointed as a special envoy to the United States on humanitarian issues. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the news on its Facebook page Saturday. The ministry said the unpaid role will "facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges." According to CNN, the role will be akin to the United Nations' goodwill ambassador positions.

While not a typical role for an actor known more for his martial arts skills than his diplomatic chops, the announcement is no big surprise for those who've followed Seagal at all in the last few years. A close friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin's, the 66-year-old was made a Russian citizen in late 2016 and has publicly defended the leader from critics who question the legality of his most recent election. Seagal was a guest at Putin's swearing in last May after he won the election. Seagal has also vocally defended the Russian leader's most controversial policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. (More Steven Seagal stories.)

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