Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met with American-born actor Steven Seagal to hand over a passport declaring Seagal’s recently acquired Russian citizenship.
The two met on Friday after Putin previously said he did not want to politicize the event.
“I would like to congratulate you and I also hope that this small step will mark the beginning of the gradual improvement in our interstate relations,” Putin said to Seagal with a sentiment similar to that expressed to Donald Trump following his presidential win.
“Russia is quite beautiful. But I will always love my country. USA is my home,” 64-year-old Seagal said via Twitter earlier this month.
But one day later, Seagal apparently needed to lend a bit of clarification to his followers, so he sent out a second tweet regarding Russia. “Dual citizenship is not abandoning my country. I love the USA,” Segal said. “Family comes from Russia.”
Seagal said the dual citizenship will simply allow him to more easily travel between the two countries, whether for work, play or just visiting friends and family.
For the better part of a year, the action star served as brand ambassador for Kalashnikov Concern, a state-run gun maker, but the relationship ended after tensions raised due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which forced the U.S. to issue sanctions against Russia.
[ New York Times ]