While filming a movie in Romania, actor, film producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, musician and reserve deputy sheriff Steven Seagal did an interview with the state-run Russian newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, in which he’d expressed that Vladimir Putin’s actions against Crimea are “highly reasonable.”
The 7th-dan black belt in Aikido commented that 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,” and added that the U.S. policy on Ukraine was “idiotic.”
Republican Seagal, a close friend of Putin’s, reportedly because they both share a keen interest in the martial arts, called the Russian president “one of the great living world leaders,” and that he “would like to consider him as a brother.” Early this month the straight-to-video action star had helped Putin relaunch a national physical fitness program that had been axed after the fall of the Soviet Union.
As a sort of Renaissance Man, Seagal has also developed an energy drink called “Lightening Bolt,” as well as a fragrance called “Scent of Action.”
Seagal was recently part of an American delegation to Russia following Boston Marathon bombing, and conveys his stance against the U.S. policy regarding Russia and the crisis in Ukraine:
Excited about Seagal’s perceived superstar status, Rossiskaya Gazeta went on to compare the former silver screen star’s popularity to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan’s, deeming him “no less popular or authoritative in the world today.” Seagal had previously threatened to run for governor in Arizona, and when asked to comment on the matter, the former husband of Pantene peddler Kelly LeBrock stated that it was more important to be a peacemaker than the leader of a state.
Seagal also stated that he might “sometime” become a Russian citizen, though he stills loves the United States.