RUSSIA has appointed the US actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy to improve ties with the United States.
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Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and has praised President Putin as a great world leader.
Born in the US, the martial arts star gained international fame for roles in the 1980s and '90s like Under Siege.
He is also one of the Hollywood stars accused by several women of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo campaign, which he has denied.
The Russian foreign ministry made the announcement on its official Facebook page, saying the unpaid position was similar to that of a United Nations' goodwill ambassador and Steven Seagal would promote US-Russia relations "in the humanitarian sphere".
The Flight of Fury star, still popular with Russian audiences, has recently defended the Russian government over claims that it meddled in 2016 US elections.
The 66-year-old has called President Putin "one of the great living world leaders", and when Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship, said he hoped it would be a symbol of how relations between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.
Steven Seagal was also granted Serbian citizenship in 2016, following several visits to the Balkan country.
Steven Seagal @sseagalofficial, who is a Russian citizen, has been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry @mfa_russia in charge of the 🇷🇺#RussiaUS🇺🇸 humanitarian ties— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) August 4, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/JxYrEdqoig pic.twitter.com/9Mo6CDxLF7