Russian Federation has handed Hollywood movie star Steven Seagal the task of keeping relations cordial with the United States.
Russian Foreign Ministry which made the announcement on Facebook late on Saturday said Seagal will be tasked with furthering "Russian-American relations".
Steven Seagal has been named Moscow's envoy to the United States for "humanitarian ties", the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Saturday.
The foreign ministry said the unpaid role will be similar to the United Nations' goodwill ambassador positions.
Seagal praised Putin as "one of the great living world leaders" when he was granted Russian citizenship, and first received notoriety in the 1980s and 90s for roles in pictures such as Under Siege and Flight of Fury.
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The 66-year-old star of "Marked for Death" was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and has defended Putin's policies, including the 2014 annexing of Crimea.
Seagal's new role was noted by Kremlin-backed TV station RT, who noted Seagal as welcoming the appointment.
According to RT, Seagal told Russian news service Tass, "I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations". "I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially".
Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, and the actor and Putin share a passion for martial arts. Also that year, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher credited Seagal with facilitating meetings for a congressional delegation that visited Russian Federation in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings to investigate the suspects' backgrounds and discuss intelligence sharing issues.