Famous American actor Steven Seagal, known not only for his action movies but also for his close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, made a lightning trip to Moscow.
Seagal, who has called for an end to the war in Ukraine, visited the Russian capital on April 10 to celebrate his 70th birthday with the Russian president's most loyal associates. He even promised that he would be by their side forever.
According to the Daily Mail, Seagal took the microphone and began to express his love and support for Putin's close associates.
Seagal, who previously called Putin “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today”, could be seen calling everyone in the room “my family and my friends”.
He added in English, with a translator by his side: “I love all of you and we stand together, through thick and through thin.”
The American actor is a longtime friend of the Russian president and has a Russian passport.
The video circulating on social media shows the 70-year-old actor standing up and using a microphone to thank everyone who honoured him at his birthday party.
From the shots it seems that he has on his side rich Russians who were hit by Western sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.
One of them is an ardent supporter of the Kremlin, Russian state television presenter Vladimir Soloviev.
Margarita Simonyan, one of Russia's leading pro-Kremlin media moguls and editor-in-chief of RT, was also in attendance according to the Financial Times.
The American star, whose paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants to the US, is a personal friend Putin because of their shared love for martial arts.
In 2017, Segal was banned from visiting Ukraine for five years after Putin gave the martial arts master a Russian passport.
As for the war in Ukraine, Seagal is following the diplomatic path, saying he sees both sides "as one family."
"Most of us have friends and family in Russia and Ukraine," he told Fox News Digital. "I look at both as one family and really believe it is an outside entity spending huge sums of money on propaganda to provoke the two countries to be at odds with each other."
In 2018, Russia appointed the Above The Law actor as a special envoy to improve ties with the US.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Seagal’s responsibility would be to “facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges”.
The actor, a self-described Buddhist, has long had a close relationship with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and was granted Russian citizenship in 2016.
He previously called Putin’s annexation of Crimea “very reasonable” and described the president as “one of the world’s greatest living leaders”.