Russia appoints Steven Seagal as special humanitarian envoy to US

The action star and martial artist has previously been granted Russian citizenship

Russia appoints Steven Seagal as special humanitarian envoy to US

Steven Seagal. Picture by: Legion-Media/Zuma Press/PA Images

The US action movie star Steven Seagal has been appointed as a humanitarian envoy by the Russian government.

The actor and martial artist - who is already a Russian citizen - will serve as a special representative for Russia-US humanitarian ties.

He is not expected to be paid for the 'public' role, officials said.

In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry explained: "The task is to facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on.

"It is the case when people’s diplomacy meets halfway traditional diplomacy. You can draw a parallel with the functions of United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors."

Alongside his film work, 66-year-old Seagal has also worked as a musician, businessman and a reserve deputy sheriff.

The Under Siege star has long had close ties with Russia, and was granted citizenship by Vladimir Putin in 2016.

Last year, he was banned from entering Ukraine for five years for alleged national security reasons.

He has previously controversially claimed that Russia's actions in Crimea were 'very reasonable'.