Action movie star Steven Seagal named Russia's humanitarian envoy with US

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Seagal has been a regular visitor to Russia for years, and Putin granted the American actor a Russian passport in 2016.

Action hero Steven Seagal has been appointed by Russian Federation as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the US.

"Hard to Kill" action movie star Steven Seagal has been named a special envoy for humanitarian ties to the United States.

"Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties", the ministry said.

The foreign ministry said the unpaid role will be similar to the United Nations' goodwill ambassador positions.

"I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations", RT cited Seagal as saying. "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".

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CNN has reached out Seagal's spokesperson for comment.

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

While Seagal is popular in Russian Federation, he has been accused in the U.S. of sexual misconduct. Both countries are at odds over Syria and Ukraine and there is still the issue of Russian hackers tampering with the 2016 elections in an effort to further divide the United States. He said he had called Putin "ONE of the World's Great Leaders".

Seagal thanked the Russian government for his new role, describing the appointment as "a great honor".

A Kremlin spokesperson cited Seagal's "warm feelings toward Russia" and his celebrity status as reasons for the gesture, according to Reuters.

Actor Steven Seagal speaks at a news conference, while attending an opening ceremony for a research and development center in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 22, 2015.