The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that Hollywood action star Steven Seagal would be the country's new representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties, according to Reuters.
The role was designed to "deepen cultural, art and youth ties" between the two nuclear superpowers.
The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal’s new role to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.
“It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said. -Reuters
US-Russia relations have been under seige since Russian President Vladimir Putin made the executive decision to annex Crimea in 2014 - stoking tensions with the West, which claims the Russian president acted above the law.
Out for justice, the US and others imposed harsh sanctions against Russia, while the Ukrainian army has found itself on deadly ground facing off with Russian forces throughout the disputed region.
Last year, Seagal was banned from entering Ukraine for five years, after the Ukrainian security service (BSU) deemed him a security threat and placed him on a blacklist. No word if he was marked for death by an attack force, or if they just don't like a guy who was born to raise hell. We're sure he would have received the maximum conviction had he set foot in the country, but for now he remains out of reach and hard to kill.
“Apart from a black belt, I have a black list now,” -Steven Seagal
In 2016, Putin presented Seagal with a Russian passport - while apparently finding something humorous during the ceremony, an exchange which was clearly a big moment for Seagal.
Seagal - a frequent guest on Russian state TV and a regular visitor to the country for over a decade, was cited by RT as welcoming the appointment:
“I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations,” RT cited Seagal as saying. “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 films are popular with Russian audiences. We can just imagine Putin cozying up to Under Seige with a big vat of popcorn, wondering with the rest of us how Seagal who is more than "just a cook," didn't win a single award for his performace: