Putin gives US actor Steven Seagal top state award for ‘humanitarian work’

Steven Seagal, an American action movie actor who is now a citizen of Russia, was presented with a state decoration on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the website run by the Russian government, the granting of the Order of Friendship was announced. The order honours those whom Russia believes have improved relations between nations.

The directive made mention of Seagal’s role as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for relations with the US and Japan on humanitarian grounds.

In 2018, Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s humanitarian envoy to the US and Japan.

A frequent visitor to Russia, Seagal supported Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine and called it “very reasonable”.

The American actor and martial artist has worked in Japan and has long loved Putin; in 2016, Putin granted him a Russian passport.

He went to the Ukrainian town of Olenivka, which is under Russian control, last year. There, dozens of Ukrainian POWs are said to have perished in an attack for which Russia and Ukraine have traded accusations.

On the grounds of national security, Ukraine barred Seagal from entering for a period of five years in 2017.

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