Steven Seagal: Actor, Martial Artist, and Russian Citizen?

FILE+-+This+is+a+Saturday%2C+Aug.+11%2C+2012%2C+file+photo++Russian+President+Vladimir+Putin%2C+and+U.S.+actor+Steven+Seagal%2C+left%2C+as+they+watch+the+first+Russian+national+championship+of+mixed+martial+arts+in+the+Black+Sea+resort+of+Sochi%2C+southern+Russia.+The+Russian+news+RIA+Novosti+says+American+actor+Steven+Seagal+has+performed+at+a+concert+in+the+breakaway+region+of+Crimea+on+a+stage+decorated+with+the+flag+of+pro-Russian+separatists+fighting+in+eastern+Ukraine.+Seagal%2C+who+knows+Russian+President+Vladimir+Putin%2C+performed+Saturday+Aug.+9%2C+2014+in+the+Black+Sea+port+city+of+Sevastopol+at+a+concert+organized+by+a+motorcycle+gang+of+Russian+nationalists+known+as+the+Night+Wolves.+Russia+annexed+the+Ukrainian+region+in+March.%28AP+Photo%2FRIA-Novosti%2C++Alexei+Nikolsky%2C+Presidential+Press+Service%2C+File%29

AP

FILE - This is a Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, and U.S. actor Steven Seagal, left, as they watch the first Russian national championship of mixed martial arts in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia. The Russian news RIA Novosti says American actor Steven Seagal has performed at a concert in the breakaway region of Crimea on a stage decorated with the flag of pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine. Seagal, who knows Russian President Vladimir Putin, performed Saturday Aug. 9, 2014 in the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol at a concert organized by a motorcycle gang of Russian nationalists known as the Night Wolves. Russia annexed the Ukrainian region in March.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)

Jacob A. Longoria, Staff Writer

Actor, Martial Artist, and now what some Congressional members have previously referred to as an “informal foreign aid,” Steven Seagal has gained full citizenship rights in Russia, directly from President Vladimir Putin himself. President Putin gave a formal speech on November 3rd, 2016, officially announcing Steven Seagal’s acceptance into the Russian Federation, as well as a few flattering words about Seagal’s history with Russia, saying “He had been really persistent for a long time and been asking to grant him citizenship, he is actually renown for his quite warm feelings toward our country.” [Translation: Russian to English]. Vladimir Putin and Steven Seagal have a personal history together. Both have accompanied one another to martial arts events over the past few years, as Putin is considered to be an expert in Judo (he has written a book on the subject), and Seagal is considered to be an expert in Aikido, as well as a “respected coach” for UFC fighters, such as Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Naturally, the two have a common interest. North Point Senior, Aaron Abshire, was genuinely surprised to hear about the Hollywood and Martial Arts icon gaining citizenship, “I know he has declared himself to be a Republican, I’d of thought he would have been against Russia as a whole in the first place!” Perhaps there is some truth in Mr. Abshire’s statement however. Some Congressional members in the past have credited Seagal with “opening doors” in dealings with certain relations with Russia, allowing the U.S to effectively discuss anti-terrorist policies. Conspiracy theorists may propose ulterior motives for Seagal’s involvement and acceptance in the Russian Federation. Whatever the case, North Point Senior, Calvin Gao, seems to think “Seagal had always been a joke in my mind, even though some of his movies were cool. I never thought he was capable in dealing with some of the most powerful people in the world, given his child-like demeanor.”