American actor Steven Seagal was presented with a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
The Under Siege star attended a special ceremony in Moscow, where the Russian leader expressed an interest in repairing relations with the U.S. now Republican Donald Trump is set to take office as the 45th President of the nation.
“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 normalisation of relations between our countries,” Putin said.
Seagal was granted Russian citizenship earlier this month (Nov16). The special decree awarded to Seagal read, “Naturalise in Russia Seagal Steven Frederic, born April 10, 1952 in the United States of America.”
The actor has frequently socialised with Putin and other eastern European leaders, including Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in recent years.
The 64-year-old is not the first movie star to be granted Russian citizenship by Putin – in 2013, French-born actor Gerard Depardieu became a Russian national.