Seagal takes credit for US-Russia meeting (2013)

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

In 2016, he met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin to receive an unusual gift - his very own Russian passport.

Seagal's mother was of Dutch, English, and German ancestry, while his paternal grandparents were Russian Jews who immigrated to the US.

"I am deeply humbled and honoured to have been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of Russian and American Humanitarian ties".

The decision to appoint celebrated actor Steven Seagal, who is a Russian citizen, as a Russian foreign ministry envoy for Russian-US humanitarian ties was a well-grounded step as Moscow sees it as a message to all those in the US who don't want bilateral cooperation to degrade, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Sunday.

It is the latest honour Russian Federation has bestowed upon Seagal. "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. "I take this honour very seriously", he wrote on Twitter. He attended Putin's recent swearing-in ceremony in May.

The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has robustly defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticised the United States government.

In 2015, BuzzFeed News reported that two years earlier, Putin had suggested to then-President Barack Obama that he could make Seagal the honorary Russian consul to California and Arizona.

It's not the first time Russian Federation has tried to give Seagal some sort of semi-official status. He's also visited with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko.

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