PUTIN signs a proclamation honoring Hollywood actor and Russian national STEVEN SEAGAL


On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding the Order of Friendship to Steven Seagal, a Hollywood actor and martial artist who also holds Russian citizenship.

According to an announcement on the Russian government’s news agency, Seagal was awarded the Order of Friendship for his roles in various action films over the last three decades.

The order honors individuals who Russia believes have contributed to the improvement of international relations. The decree, which named Seagal as its latest recipient, stated that it was given as a reward for his international humanitarian and cultural work.

Seagal was a vocal supporter of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and visited the Russian-held Ukrainian town of Olenivka last year, where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack blamed on both Russia and Ukraine.

Seagal was barred from entering Ukraine for five years in 2017, citing national security concerns.

Seagal was appointed by Russia’s Foreign Ministry as a humanitarian envoy to the United States and Japan in 2018.

“Steven Seagal has been appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties,” the embassy announced on Facebook. “The task is to facilitate humanitarian relations between Russia and the United States, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on.”

Before gaining citizenship, Seagal visited Russia frequently. Seagal, a reported friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied Putin to several martial arts events during those visits. Putin issued Seagal a Russian passport in November 2016.

Putin’s spokesperson at the time, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Seagal “has been insistent for a long time in asking to be granted Russian citizenship,” adding that “he is known for his warm feelings to our country, he never made a secret of it, and he’s also a well-known actor, which gave grounds to make him a Russian citizen.”

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