Actor Steven Seagal made special US-Russia envoy

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

More recently, Mr. Seagan received Russian citizenship in 2016 and was personally handed his Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin.

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

His new role has been compared to that of a United Nations goodwill ambassador by the ministry.

The once-prolific actor has been recruited to deepen ties with the U.S.in the humanitarian field, assisting "cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges", according to Russia's foreign ministry.

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

American Seagal, whose grandparents were Russian Jews, was granted Russian citizenship in 2016. The Putin-Seagal love affair has now taken a more interesting turn because as of now the semi-retired actor is being counted on to improve U.S.

The Washington Post was unable to immediately reach Seagal for comment. Also that year, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher credited Seagal with facilitating meetings for a congressional delegation that visited Russian Federation in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings to investigate the suspects' backgrounds and discuss intelligence sharing issues. Back in 2013, Seagal was Putin's choice to lead a special diplomatic envoy.

Seagal's fame peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s with films such as Under Siege and Above the Law, but he remains hugely popular in eastern Europe and was granted both Russian and Serbian citizenships in 2016.

Seagal's new role was noted by Kremlin-backed TV station RT, who noted Seagal as welcoming the appointment.

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