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He's a close friend and staunch supporter of Putin, whom he has hailed as a "great world leader".

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Seagal in a 2016 ceremony and personally presented the actor with a new Russian passport.

On Saturday, Russian officials tapped him for another role: special representative to improve relations between the United States and Russia.

Russia has appointed Hollywood Actor Steven Seagal as special representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to focus on humanitarian issues with the United States (U.S.). Trump and Seagal have both said over the years that the United States would greatly benefit from a strong relationship with Russian Federation.

The unpaid position will be similar to a United Nations goodwill ambassador's role, the foreign ministry said.

Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, and the actor and Putin share a passion for martial arts.

"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'.

The Washington Post was unable to immediately reach Seagal for comment.

Russian Federation isn't the only country offering overtures to Seagal. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".

In 2015, BuzzFeed News reported that two years earlier, Putin had suggested to then-US President Barack Obama that he could make Seagal the honourary Russian consul to California and Arizona.

Seagal, who occasionally appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment.

Reacting to the appointment, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured".


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