Steven Seagal is now Comrade Seagal as the action movie icon has officially become a Russian citizen. The Kremlin announced the big news this Thursday, claiming it awarded Russian citizenship to the 64-year-old, who has been very vocally supportive of Vladimir Putin in the recent past. The two have even attended quite a few martial arts events together.
Steven Seagal has visited Russia quite a lot over the course of the last couple of years, helping Russian President Vladimir Putin extend his love for Judo. Two years Seagal's junior, Putin has been studying the art of Judo since he was a teenager. And he's even written a book on the subject.
Himself a staunch Republican, Steven Seagal has been calling for President Obama's impeachment. And in doing so, has given high praise to Obama's Russian counterpart. The action star has called Putin 'one of the greatest world leaders'. And according to USA Today, Seagal has even defended Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Steven Seagal was interviewed by the state-owned newspaper Rossiskaya back in March of 2014, where the actor let his feelings be known. He said western policy on Crimea was idiotic and claimed Putin was only trying to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea along with 'his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol.'
Steven Seagal hasn't accepted residency in Russia just yet. But he wouldn't be alone. Iconic French actor Gerard Depardieu went into tax exile in Russia back in 2013. And American boxer Roy Jones Jr. asked Putin for dual citizenship last year, hoping to help ease the weight of his frequent business trips in and out of the country. Putin also granted Jones his request. Said Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov about Steven Seagal's Russian citizenship.
"[Seagal] has been insistent for a long time in asking to be granted Russian citizenship. 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."
As of now, Steven Seagal has not made any public statements regarding his Russian Citizenship, though he did make it known on Twitter that he was spending most of October in the country. It is being speculated that he will claim dual Russian-American citizenship, but that would force him to pay taxes in both countries. What makes it a little more complicated is that he was also granted citizenship in Serbia this past January, where he plans to establish his own martial arts school for the locals.