Steven Seagal 'banned from Ukraine' for five years

The ban comes less than a year after the American actor received Russian citizenship

Steven Seagal 'banned from Ukraine' for five years

Steven Seagal. Picture by: Bernard Patrick/ABACA/PA Images

Action star Steven Seagal has been banned from entering Ukraine for five years, local media has reported.

The ban came under national security legislation, according to the Apostrophe and UNN news sites.

The Guardian quotes a letter from security agencies, stating that bans take place when individuals have “committed socially dangerous actions [...] that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”.

In a statement quoted by the Interfax news agency, the Ukrainian Security Service said it had "resolved to ban the said individual from entering Ukraine for a five-year period."

Last year, Vladimir Putin signed an executive order granting Mr Seagal Russian citizenship.

The actor has previously expressed his admiration for the Russian leader, once suggesting that Putin is possibly “the greatest world leader alive today”.

He has also made a number of controversial remarks regarding Russia and Ukraine.

In a 2014 interview, he also claimed that Putin's actions in Crimea were 'very reasonable'.

He argued: "Recently when Ukraine was quote unquote overthrown, you have to keep in mind it was a democratically voted on... It was a government that was put in through normal diplomatic channels."

The ban comes only a week before Ukraine is due to host the Eurovision Song Contest, which has also been impacted by the tense relationship between Russia and Ukraine.

Yulia Samoylova, the singer who was chosen to represent Russia, has been denied entry to the host country ahead of the contest.