Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry's 'special representative'

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"It's a case of people's diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy", the ministry said.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Seagal has been appointed to a new role, which will apparently be unpaid.

Seagal, who became a Russian citizen in 2016, is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Seagal has been an ardent supporter of Putin, going so far as to defend his government against allegations of election meddling in the United States.

Russia has appointed Hollywood Actor Steven Seagal as special representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to focus on humanitarian issues with the United States (U.S.). "As for global practice, you can draw a parallel with the functions of United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors".

The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has robustly defended the Russian leader's policies and once told Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain that anyone who thought Putin had attempted to rig the United States elections was "stupid".

Seagal's new role was noted by Kremlin-backed TV station RT, who noted Seagal as welcoming the appointment.

According to RT, Seagal told Russian news service Tass, "I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations".

Was Steven Seagal's "bromance" with Russia's Putin behind Ukraine's blacklist? "I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially".

Ukraine banned Seagal from the country a year ago, deeming him a national security threat.

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