Seagal photographed in 2014
By Clive Mason/Getty Images.
Actor, martial artist, and Vladimir Putin bromance partner Steven Seagal has a new honor from Russia. On Saturday, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced that Seagal has been appointed an official representative between Russia and the U.S., according to Reuters. His mission: to improve humanitarian relations between the two countries and deepen cultural ties.
In 2016, Putin gifted Seagal with a Russian passport, seemingly as an example of Putin’s good faith and will to improve ties between Washington and the Kremlin—or perhaps he was just really jazzed on any one of the six films IMDB credits to Seagal that year, including The Asian Connection. (Story by Tom Sizemore!) Since then, relations between the U.S. and Russia have hit a little bit of a slide, compounded by an investigation into Russian hackers employed by the Kremlin influenced the election of Donal Trump in 2016. Recently, Seagal has been accused multiple times of sexual assault, which he denies.
In a Facebook post, the Russian Foreign Ministry Facebook page explained that Seagal was clear that Seagall’s new gig is unpaid. “This is a socio-political position, not involving a monetary reward.” This is an instance, according to the Ministry, of “when people’s diplomacy meets traditional diplomacy.”
Seagal was quoted by Russian TV station RT, which has ties to the Kremlin, as welcoming the appointment, saying, “I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations. 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.”