MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. The decision to appoint celebrated actor Steven Seagal, who is a Russian citizen, as a Russian foreign ministry envoy for Russian-US humanitarian ties was a well-grounded step as Moscow sees it as a message to all those in the US who don’t want bilateral cooperation to degrade, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Sunday.
"It is an unconventional step, but the situation, when one of the sides - the United States in this case - is sparing no effort, deliberately and with unexplainable ardor, to spoil bilateral relations, cannot be seen as conventional," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house.
"I think this way Russia demonstrates its willingness to do its best so that negative changes in the relations never become irreversible," he said. Moreover, in his words, Moscow shows "understanding that amidst maladaptive actions by the majority of American politicians, especially bearing in mind the ungrounded allegations about meddling with US elections, it is more expedient to appeal to public opinion, to those people who are not interested in the degradation of cooperation and who can be affected by it."
Russia will do it "by civilized and transparent means," he stressed. "Given such an approach, the choice of a celebrated actor and pacifist is quite justified and everything will now depend on him and people like him. The more good will ambassador we have the better it is for both Russia and the United States," he noted.
Russian Foreign Ministry wrote on Facebook earlier that "Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian foreign ministry’s special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties." According to the ministry, his task will be "to facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on." The ministry explained that the position is public and is not expected to be paid.
Born in the United States, actor Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016. He often comes to Russia, repeatedly expressing his affection for the country.