Russia Appoints Steven Seagal to Improve U.S. Cultural Ties

Russia Appoints Steven Seagal to Improve U.S. Cultural Ties

Seagal has also been one of Putin's biggest supporters, and defended the Russian leader against charges of USA election meddling during an interview with Piers Morgan on "Good Morning Britain" a year ago.

President Putin is also a fan of the kind of martial arts that Seagal often practiced in his Hollywood action movies.

Actor Steven Seagal attends the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the appointment on Saturday saying Seagal's role would be to develop Russian-U.S. relations in the "humanitarian" sphere, including in the fields of culture, art and youth exchanges. "In worldwide practice it is possible to draw Parallels with the functions of the goodwill ambassadors of the United Nations", - said the press service of the foreign Ministry in its statement.

But since then relations between the two countries have deteriorated, with U.S intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Both countries are at odds over Syria and Ukraine and there is still the issue of Russian hackers tampering with the 2016 elections in an effort to further divide the United States.

Seagal, who occasionally appears on Russian state television, said he welcomed the appointment, Reuters reported.

"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", Seagal said.

Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, and the actor and Putin share a passion for martial arts.

Seagal, 66, could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.

Russian Federation isn't the only country offering overtures to Seagal. And in a 2013 interview with news channel RT, Seagal said he believed Putin "is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today".

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

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