Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to honor the American actor Steven Seagal with the state Order of Friendship. The decree cited what it called Seagal’s “great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation.”
Putin grants friendship award to Steven Seagal
Newslooks- MOSCOW (AP)
The awarding of the Order of Friendship was announced on the Russian government‘s internet portal. The order recognizes people who Russia considers to have contributed to bettering international relations.
Seagal was a vocal supporter of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and last year visited the Russian-held Ukrainian town of Olenivka where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack for which Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other.
Seagal has been a regular visitor to Russia and became a citizen of the country in 2016, when he received a Russian passport from Vladimir Putin personally. He has also worked as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s “special representative” to the United States and Japan.
The former action hero backed Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and has supported its invasion of Ukraine. He visited the occupied Donbas area last summer.
In an interview on Russian television last year he spoke of an existential threat to Russia from Ukraine.
Seagal was named in 2018 as a Russian Foreign Ministry humanitarian envoy to the United States and Japan.