Steven Seagal, actor, appointed Russian envoy to United States

U.S. actor Steven Seagal watches the Victory Day parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two

Russia appointed actor Steven Seagal as a "special representative" on US-Russian humanitarian ties, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement on its official Facebook page Saturday. 'I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially'.

Seagal is an accomplished martial artist - like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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" a year ago.

Seagal attended the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation last month and was also among the guests when Putin was sworn in for a fourth term in May.

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The Foreign Ministry described Seagal's new role as that of a goodwill ambassador charged with deepening ties between the two nations on culture, art and youth. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

"And this kind of propaganda is really a diversion ... so that the people in the United States of America won't really see what's happening", Seagal continued, praising Putin as "a great world leader" and "brilliant tactician".

Seagal's grandmother was born in Vladivostok, and the actor and Putin share a passion for martial arts.

Reacting to the appointment, Seagal said he was "deeply humbled and honoured".

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It was flying a group of 17 Swiss nationals and a three-member family from Austria on a sightseeing tour for the company JU-AIR. He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft".

Seagal, 66, could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.

Russian Federation isn't the only country offering overtures to Seagal.

Long before Seagal and Putin became buds, the dual citizen tried in jest to influence the Russian president's reputation overseas. Whatever the case may be, Steven Seagal is honored that he was chosen to take on his new role to improve relations.

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