Steven Seagal is now a son of Russia: President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to the martial-arts action star.
Seagal, 64, “is known for his warm feelings to our country, he never made a secret of it, and he’s also a well-known actor, which gave grounds to make him a Russian citizen,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
Putin’s decree was publicized on the Kremlin website, where “Steven Seagal” is rendered in Cyrillic as “Стивена Сигала.” Seagal’s family has some Russian roots, and the movie star has praised Putin as a leader.
Vlad and Steve have reportedly attended several martial-arts events together in Russia and visited an academy there in 2013. In May 2015, the actor attended the Victory Day parade held in Red Square to mark the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany, and the bromance continued when the two connected at an economic forum in Vladivostok in September 2015.
And of course, where Putin’s name goes, Donald Trump’s often follows — and so it has in Seagal’s Twitter feed, where the actor has regularly retweeted comments in support of the GOP nominee and has made statements of his own slamming Hillary Clinton.
Seagal, who also got Serbian citizenship in January, joins expat French actor Gerard Depardieu as a Russian citizen. The “Green Card” actor, who took a stand against taxes and renounced his French citizenship in 2012, got his Russian passport in January 2013.
To commemorate that occasion, Gerard popped in for dinner with Vlad — at the presidential residence in Sochi. Good times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.