Vladimir Putin has sealed the deal with his bromance with Steven Seagal.
The Russian president on Monday gave a top state award to the American actor for his international humanitarian and cultural work.
The 70-year-old martial artist was given the Order of Friendship for his “major contribution to the development of international culture and humanitarian cooperation.”
In the decades since the height of his Hollywood fame, Seagal has been a frequent visitor to Russia.
His vocal support of Moscow led to Putin personally awarding him a passport and citizenship in 2016.
After receiving Russian citizenship, Seagal was banned from Ukraine for five years in 2017.
The order, which recognizes people Russia considers to have improved international relations, also mentions Seagal’s work since 2018 as a special representative of Russia’s Foreign Ministry for humanitarian ties with the US and Japan.
The “Under Siege” star backed Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014, calling it “very reasonable,” and has supported its invasion of Ukraine.
In 2021, Seagal joined a pro-Kremlin party and last August he visited the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk, including the destroyed Olenivka detention center where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack.
Ukraine and Moscow have both blamed each other for the deadly attack on the facility last July.
The award was announced on the Russian government’s internet portal Monday. Seagal has not shared a public reaction to the award as of Monday afternoon.
With Post wires
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