Vladimir Putin hands Russian passport to martial arts film star Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal

Vladimir Putin has personally presented US action film star Steven Seagal with a Russian passport, calling it a sign of a thaw in relations with the United States.

The 64-year old actor has been a regular visitor to Russia in recent years and has accompanied Mr Putin to several martial arts events.

Seagal also has vocally defended the Russian president’s policies and criticised the US government.

After awarding Seagal citizenship through a presidential decree earlier this month, Mr Putin hosted the actor at the Kremlin and handed him the passport.

Mr Putin told Seagal he hopes the ceremony, shown on Russian state television, is “also a sign of a gradual normalisation of the relations between the countries”.

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