Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to American actor Steven Seagal on Friday at the Kremlin, hoping it would serve as a mark of normalization of ties between Moscow and Washington.
“I want to congratulate you and express the hope that this is another, albeit small, gesture and it might be a sign of the gradual normalization of relations between our countries,”Putin said during the ceremony.
After signing the first page of his Russian passport, Seagal thanked the Russian leader.
And when asked how he was doing, the actor said that “everything is good. We will talk later. For now just honoured to be here.”
Earlier this month, Putin signed an order to grant Russian citizenship to Seagal who was cited by Kremlin as having warm feelings towards Russian. Putin is also a fan of the kind of martial arts that Hollywood star practices in his action movies.
The 64-year-old actor’s movies including “Under Siege” and “Sniper: Special Ops,” are popular with the Russian audience.
Seagal is the latest celebrity from West to have been given a Russian passport in recent years. In 2013, French actor Gerard Depardieu was granted citizenship by Putin.
Relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated to their worst level since the Cold War over Ukraine and Syria.
With the election of Doland Trump as the new president of U.S., Putin has expressed hope that the ties will improve.