Russia names Steven Seagal as envoy for US

Steven Seagal. (Getty Images)
Steven Seagal. (Getty Images)

Moscow — Russia has appointed action movie star Steven Seagal as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States.

The Foreign Ministry announced the move Saturday on its Facebook page, saying Seagal's portfolio in the unpaid position would be to "facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges."

Seagal is an accomplished martial artist — like Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has vocally defended the Russian leader's policies, including Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticised the U.S. government.

Last year, Ukraine banned Seagal from entering the country for five years, citing national security reasons. Seagal is facing mounting allegations of sexual harassment in the US. In 2017 Portia de Rossi, Jenny McCarthy and Julianna Margulies accused him of sexual misconduct. (Read more here

Earlier this year two more women came forward with allegations that Seagal had sexually harassed them at auditions. Seagal has denied all the allegations.