Russian Federation makes Steven Seagal special envoy to U.S. to help thaw relations

Alexei Druzhinin  TASS

The unpaid position involves fostering bilateral relations in the fields of "culture, art, public and youth exchanges", according to Moscow.

The Foreign Ministry announced the move on its Facebook page, saying Seagal's portfolio in the unpaid position would be to "facilitate relations between Russian Federation and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges".

Relations between Russian Federation and the U.S. have soured over allegations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 USA presidential race, which Russian Federation repeatedly denies.

Seagal, who has Russian roots, has been a long time supporter of the country, visiting it regularly as he opened a chain of the Planet Hollywood franchise in Moscow in the 90s.

"It is the case when people's diplomacy meets halfway traditional diplomacy", the ministry said.

Seagal thanked the Russian government for his new role, describing the appointment as "a great honor". He has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct.

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"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", RT quoted Seagal. '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'.

According to Seagal's own website, the 66-year-old has been a regular visitor to Russian Federation for over a decade.

The "Under Siege" star will serve as "special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of Russian-American humanitarian ties", the ministry said in a statement.

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

The U.S. Intelligence Community had repeatedly stated Russian Federation interfered with the election.

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