IN unexpected news from the world of international diplomacy, Vladimir Putin’s foreign ministry has made 90s Hollywood action star Steven Seagal a special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties.

Putin has announced he hoped Seagal’s appointment would serve as a symbol of improving relations between Moscow and Washington.

The 66-year-old Under Siege star has been a Russian citizen since 2016, with the president personally gifting the star his new dual citizenship passport at a ceremony in Moscow.

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The two men are said to have bonded over a a mutual love of martial arts, and displeasure at the way in which Russia is portrayed in the West.

According to The Washington Post, Seagal once described Putin as “one of the greatest world leaders if not the greatest world leader alive today”.

In an interview on Good Morning Britain last September, the actor, who also supported Donald Trump’s successful bid for the White House, defended the two presidents against claims they had colluded.

“For anyone to think Vladimir Putin had anything to do with fixing the elections, or even that the Russians have that kind of technology, is stupid,” the Today You Die leading man said.

He called the notion of Russian interference “propaganda” and a “diversion” to the American people.

The actor, who has previously claimed to have worked for the CIA fighting the Yakuza, and who believes he’s a reincarnated 17th-century Tibetan monk, will not be paid for the Russian role.

The Foreign ministry described it as “folk diplomacy meets diplomacy traditional”.

Kremlin-backed Russian television station RT, reported Seagal as saying: “I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations. I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially.”

The Belly of the Beast star was last year banned from entering Ukraine after voicing support for the annexation of Crimea.