Hollywood tough guy Steven Seagal has been granted citizenship in Russia by Vladimir Putin.
On Thursday, the Kremlin announced that they would be rewarding the 64-year-old actor with citizenship, according to USA Today.
The action-movie star has made multiple trips to Russia, and has made no bones about being supportive of Vladimir Putin. Seagal and Putin have reportedly attended several martial-arts events together. The Russian president has been training in judo since he was a teenager, and even went on to pen a book on the subject.
Seagal has called Putin "one of the greatest world leaders," and defended Russia's annexation of Crimea. In March of 2014, the Under Siege actor told the Rossiskaya Gazeta that the former policy on Crimea was "idiotic." He said of the takeover that Putin was acting to "protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol."
Dmitry Peskov, President Putin's spokesman, told reporters that Seagal "has been insistent for a long time in asking to be granted Russian citizenship." Peskov also said that "he is known for his warm feelings to our country. He never made a secret of it, and he's also a well-known actor, which gave grounds to make him a Russian citizen."
In October, Seagal shared on Twitter with his followers that he would be spending the month there. "I am in Russia until the end of the month @lmfnbatman," Seagal wrote.
I am in Russia until the end of the month. @Imfnbatman— Steven Seagal (@sseagalofficial) October 12, 2016
Steven Seagal's representatives have not yet responded for comment regarding the actor being granted Russian citizenship, so no word as to whether he is going to claim dual Russian-American citizenship or not. In the event that he does, Seagal could be forced to pay taxes in both countries.
He might even be forced to pay taxes in three countries. In January, Seagal was granted Serbian citizenship after he offered to erect a school for martial-arts in Belgrade, the capital of the country.
On the positive side, Seagal might be able to collect a Russian pension, in which he would be given 5,000 rubles, or about $78, according to AP Moscow correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva.
The pension angle for the Seagal story. Seagal is entitled to a pension of 5,000 rubles ($78) when he reaches retirement age next year. https://t.co/nIgsTyQO0r— Nataliya Vasilyeva (@NatVasilyevaAP) November 3, 2016
As for Steven Seagal's opinions on the United States, he has historically identified as a Republican. He has also been extremely vocal about calling for the impeachment of President Obama.
What are your thoughts about Steven Seagal being granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin?
[H/T USA Today]