Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal has been appointed a special envoy on Russia-US humanitarian ties.
Seagal has also been one of Putin's biggest supporters, and defended the Russian leader against charges of US election meddling during an interview with Piers Morgan on "Good Morning Britain" previous year.
Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station Russia Today (RT) as welcoming the appointment.
The star has also spoken out in defence of Putin amid claims that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, the BBC reports. Both countries are at odds over Syria and Ukraine and there is still the issue of Russian hackers tampering with the 2016 elections in an effort to further divide the United States.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on the appointment of Mr. Seagal on August 4.
"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", Seagal said.
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The Washington Post was unable to immediately reach Seagal for comment. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".
He called Putin a personal friend and expressed a desire to improve relations between the United States and Russian Federation. The American actor was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and is said to enjoy a friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Seagal was also granted Serbian citizenship in 2016 after several visits to the Balkan country, the BBC reports.
At the time, the Kremlin said the decision to grant citizenship to Seagal was driven by the actor's "warm feelings towards Russian Federation". While that may seem, let's say, confusing, it's not a complete shock if you've kept track of Seagal and his russophilia in the last few years.
In a video of the event, Putin and Seagal shake hands.