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He’s the moody, silently brooding action star known for his portrayal of loose cannons, reckless psychos and a belligerent chef.
But instead of a leather-jacket wearing, ass-kicking maverick, Steven Seagal’s new role seems to be defending President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea.
The hard-man film star, who is thought to be an acquaintance of Putin because of a shared love of martial arts, has expressed his support for Russia’s actions in Crimea in a 2,000 word interview with state-run newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta.
According to The Moscow Times, Mr Seagal, who is currently shooting a new film in Romania, said President Vladimir Putin’s “desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol … is very reasonable.”
In the interview Seagal reportedly says he considers Putin “one of the great living world leaders” and that he “would like to consider him as a brother.” He also criticises what he describes as the “idiotic” US policy on Ukraine.
These are not his first comments on the situation. Seagal, who is a Republican, also appeared on Russia Today last month as an expert panelist on the crisis.
And in an interview last year the star said of Vladimir Putin that: “I would like to think I know him well. But I know him well enough to know that he is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader alive.”
Seagal is not the only ageing action star to have waded in on the subject of Crimea.
Former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger offered some less-than-helpful advice for world leaders when asked about Crimea in a recent interview to promote his new film ‘Sabotage’.
“I think what they all need to do now, is stop whatever they are doing and watch the movie ‘Sabotage’”, he said.