Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship from Vladimir Putin back in 2016, and now the star of such action flicks as “Above the Law” and “Under Siege” is being pressed into service as a special envoy tasked with improving Russia-U.S. relations.
The Russian Embassy to the U.S. revealed the news via its official Facebook page, announcing that the Russian Foreign Ministry had appointed Seagal, 66, a “special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties,” the ministry said. “The task is to facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on.”
According to the ministry, Seagal’s role is described as being akin to when “people’s diplomacy meets halfway traditional diplomacy,” comparing the role as that of a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
Seagal has been closely connected to Putin over the past few years, even attending the Russian president’s swearing-in ceremony after this year’s Russian election earlier this year.
Seagal has also been one of Putin’s biggest supporters, and defended the Russian leader against charges of U.S. election meddling during an interview with Piers Morgan on “Good Morning Britain” last year.
“For anyone to think that Vladimir Putin had anything to do with fixing the elections, or even that the Russians have that kind of technology, is stupid,” Seagal said at the time (U.S. intelligence agencies have since confirmed that Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 presidential election).
The news of Seagal’s new appointment made great material for the hosts of late-night, including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, which aired a spoof trailer for the action star’s latest movie, “Special Envoy”.
“His mission, improve relations with the United States using only his mastery of slap-boxing and his hostility towards vegetables,” the voiceover said.
James Corden picked up where Colbert left off on “The Late Late Show”, joking that the announcement about Seagal’s new position was “released directly to DVD.”
The British host continued, “The only thing darker than the current political climate is Steven Seagal’s goatee.”