Russia Names Steven Seagal Humanitarian Envoy to U.S.

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Long before Seagal and Putin became buds, the dual citizen tried in jest to influence the Russian president's reputation overseas.

Russia appointed actor Steven Seagal as a "special representative" on US-Russian humanitarian ties, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement on its official Facebook page Saturday.

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

"The goal was to promote the further development of Russian - American relations in the humanitarian sphere, including cooperation in the sphere of culture, art, public and youth exchanges and so on", - noted in Department. "I take this honor very seriously".

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In response to the notably unpaid engagement, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured" on Twitter. He attended Putin's recent swearing-in ceremony in May. But Seagal has faced some criticism for his bromance with the controversial Russian leader: He has praised Putin's annexation of Crimea, for example, and last year, Kiev banned him from entering Ukraine for five years, claiming he has "committed socially risky actions" that could threaten their security.

This idea isn't actually new-in 2013 Putin suggested to then-President Obama that Seagal be appointed to just such a role, which left Obama "flabbergasted".

President Donald Trump has been criticized for his reluctance to speak out against Russian Federation or President Vladimir Putin, and the addition to Steven Seagal into the mix isn't going to help matters. He's also visited with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko.

"And this kind of propaganda is really a diversion ... so that the people in the United States of America won't really see what's happening", Seagal continued, praising Putin as "a great world leader" and "brilliant tactician".

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