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Seagal has been closely connected to Putin over the past few years, even attending the Russian president's swearing-in ceremony after this year's Russian election earlier this year. In 2016, Serbian state media reported that the government had offered Seagal citizenship for offering to open a martial arts academy in Belgrade.

"Stephen Seagal has been appointed special representative of the ministry of foreign affairs of Russia on Russian-American Humanitarian Ties", the foreign ministry said on its website.

Now the American actor Steven Seagal, 66, is to take on a subtler role, as a humanitarian envoy for Russian Federation. He is the special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties.

"I hope we can strive for peace, harmony and positive results in the world".

Seagal is now officially going to develop relations between Russian Federation and the United States in the field of culture, art, public and youth exchanges, etc.

Seagal has said that it's "stupid" to think that Russian Federation or any other country has the technology to tamper with voting. "I take this honour very seriously". Later that month, Putin, who has been described as a fan of the martial arts that Seagal practices in his movies, personally presented the actor with a Russian passport.

The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has robustly defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticised the U.S. government.

Seagal does seem particularly interested in the former Soviet Union.

The Russian ministry said he would not be paid for his envoy role. He's also visited with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko.

The Independent says that Seagal has "faced some criticism for some comments he has made about the controversial Russian leader", including describing Putin as "one of the greatest world leaders" during a 2013 interview.