Hollywood action star, Steven Seagal, has become a Russian citizen. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree making the US actornthe latest Western celebrity too bag citizenship of the east European nation.
In recent years, a lot of bromance has been brewing between Seagal and Putin with Seagal visiting Russia repeatedly and defending Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pestov told newsmen on Thursday: “He was asking quite insistently and over a lengthy period to be granted citizenship.
“He is well known for his warm feelings towards our country and has never hidden them.”
Some high-profile Western celebrities who have recently gained citizenship after parleying with Putin include:
- Veteran French actor Gerard Depardieu in 2013 after becomiing a tax exile in ire over rate hikes in his native country.
- US boxer Roy Jones Jr
- American mixed martial artist Jeff Monson.
Putin’s love for the new citizens may have been supported by his love for martial arts.
Seagal’s fame peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s with films such as “Under Siege” and “Above the Law”, but he remains hugely popular in eastern Europe and was granted Serbian citizenship in January.