Hollywood actor Steven Seagal joins pro-Kremlin party

The Hollywood actor Steven Seagal, a long-time admirer of Russian president Vladimir Putin, has joined a pro-Kremlin party, the party said on Sunday.

Seagal received a membership card of an alliance named A Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth on Saturday, a video released by the party showed. It was formed earlier this year, when three leftist parties, all of which support Putin, merged.

Seagal, a Russian citizen since 2016, proposed a crackdown on businesses that damage the environment.

“Without being able to arrest people, when we just fine them, they are probably making more money off the production of the things that are defiling the environment,” he said in his welcome speech.

The party controls a faction in the lower house of the Russian parliament and plans to take part in a parliamentary election in September.

Seagal, a US-born martial artist, is best known for producing and starring in action movies, while Putin, who granted him citizenship, is a fan of martial arts.

Seagal posed for pictures with one of the party leaders, Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, who enrolled in an army of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and admitted to commanding a combat unit in a conflict which has killed 14,000 people in seven years.

In 2018, Russia tasked Seagal with improving humanitarian ties with the US at a time of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Seagal visited Venezuela as a Russian representativeearlier in May and presented a samurai sword to Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro.

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