Russian Federation appoints actor Steven Seagal as 'special representative'

Steven Seagal speaks at a news conference while attending an opening ceremony for a research and development center in Moscow Russia

The 66-year-old actor was born in Lansing, the capital city of U.S. state of MI.

President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were beginning to improve.

The Flight of Fury star, still popular with Russian audiences, has recently defended the Russian government over claims that it meddled in 2016 USA elections.

Action hero Steven Seagal has been appointed by Russian Federation as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the US.

"The task is to promote the further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interaction in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges and more", it added.

Moscow has appointed United States actor Steven Seagal to promote the "further development of Russian-American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including interaction in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges", Russia's Foreign Ministry has announced.

In 2015, BuzzFeed News reported that two years earlier, Putin suggested to president at the time Barack Obama that he could make Seagal the honorary Russian consul to California and Arizona.

Last year, Ukraine banned Seagal from entering the country for five years, citing national security reasons.

"Our reaction was, 'You've got to be kidding, '" a U.S. official told BuzzFeed, referring to the offer.

American Seagal, whose grandparents were Russian Jews, was granted Russian citizenship in 2016. He has also visited Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko.

The unpaid position will be similar to a United Nations goodwill ambassador's role, the foreign ministry said.

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