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09 August 2018, 12:11 | Elsie Buchanan
President Putin and Seagal in 2016
AMERICAN action-movie star Steven Seagal has played a former Central Intelligence Agency agent, a hit man and a killer of criminals during his career.
Seagal will also engage in efforts to preserve "Russia's memorable places in the United States, study and popularize the legacy of Russian America and other pages of our common history that are of great interest to citizens of both countries", the ministry said.
A statement issued by Russia's Foreign Ministry announced: "Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties".
American actor Steven Seagal, who took Russian citizenship and got a job in the foreign Ministry, will be engaged in advocacy work.
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In 2013, BuzzFeed reported that Putin suggested to President Barack Obama that Seagal serve as an honorary envoy of Russian Federation to help improve relations between the two countries.
President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to U.S. actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.
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 was cited as saying.
In the interview, Seagal also praised Putin as "a great world leader" and a "brilliant tactician".
The 66-year-old could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.
Seagal's grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, according to a biography on IMDB. Seagal has vocally defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticized the US government.
A 7th-dan black belt in the Japanese martial art Aikido, he was the first foreigner to open a dojo of the style in Japan, a feat few non-Japanese martial artists achieve.
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