American action film star Steven Seagal has been a world traveler for many decades, especially to Russia. He has visited the country numerous times to attend martial arts events over the years. Not only that, but he’s even accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin to several of these events as well.
If you aren’t familiar with Putin, he has a particular interest in martial arts. Since Putin was a teenager, he has studied and practiced the art of Judo. In fact, Putin even wrote a book about Judo based on what he’s learned about it. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Putin and Seagal would become friendly after their paths had crossed.
On Thursday, Seagal got something that he had reportedly been requesting for a long time; Russian citizenship. The Kremlin made the announcement that Seagal had been awarded Russian citizenship by Putin. So far, it is unclear if Seagal plans to have dual citizenship between the United States and Russia. If he does, then it could force him to pay taxes in both countries. In addition to Russian citizenship, Seagal was also given Serbian citizenship back in January because he made an offer to form a martial arts school in the Serbian capital known as Belgrade.
As far as Seagal’s politics goes, he has made it publicly clear that he does not support U.S. President Barack Obama. He even called for his impeachment at one point. However, Seagal has given lots of praise to Putin and said he was “one of the greatest world leaders.” Some of Seagal’s American fans may be put off by this. On the other hand, it is kind of similar to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s praise of Putin as well. Of course, Trump claims he doesn’t know Putin but that he doesn’t mind when Putin compliments him.