Actor Steven Seagal — famous for a 1990s run of Kung-fu movies — has been appointed “special emissary” from Russia to the United States, and tasked with improving relations between the two countries.
Seagal, who is not just a martial arts master but also a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin (and a Russian citizen, thanks to a special decree from Putin conferred last year), is tasked with working “in the humanitarian sphere,” and reaching out to Americans “in the sphere of culture, public and youth exchanges,” CNN reports.
According to reports, the role will be along the lines of a United Nations goodwill ambassador — a sort of mascot and public relations representative. The Russian government apparently feels that Seagal commands some importance and relevance in American society, even though Seagal hasn’t starred in a movie that opened somewhere other than “on demand” in more than a decade.
Seagal has been an ardent supporter of Putin, even going so far as to defend the Russian leader from accusations of fixing elections, including the American presidential election. He called the claims “propaganda” on a British morning news show last year, adding that Putin was “a great world leader” and a “brilliant tactician.”