Steven Seagal has voiced his unwavering support for Vladimir Putin and his allies, even as most Westerners turn their backs on the Russian president following the invasion of Ukraine.
The Hollywood star is a strong supporter of Putin, whom he considers a friend. At a Moscow restaurant where the actor was attending his 70th birthday celebrations on Sunday, Seagal called Putin’s allies “family” and “friends”, as reported. The temperature.
According to the Timethe party brought together Putin’s allies, including Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT, Russia’s state-funded broadcaster, and TV presenter Vladimir Solovyev, both targeted by Western sanctions over their close ties to Putin.
Soloviev, seen as a key Kremlin supporter on Russian television, had two of his villas near Lake Como seized by Italian authorities in March. One of the villas was set on fire by unidentified protesters in April.
In a video shared on Twitter, Seagal, dressed in black, can be heard toasting “each one of you, you are my family and my friends. And I love you all and we stand together, through the hardships at through thin.”
Seagal previously called Putin “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today,” according to The temperature.
The video is proof that Seagal has not toned down his support for the Russian president, which other former supporters – French actor Gerard Depardieu, Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen – preferred to do in light of recent events.
Speaking to Fox News in March, Seagal called for peace between Ukraine and Russia, saying the two were “one family.”
“Most of us have friends and family in Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
“I consider the two as one family and I truly believe that this is an outside entity that spends huge amounts of money on propaganda to induce the two countries to be at odds with each other. other.”
Seagal was banned from entering Ukraine in 2017, a year after obtaining his Russian citizenship. The ban, valid for five years, was justified by Ukraine’s security services identifying Seagal as a national security threat because of his ties to Moscow.
The friendship between Under Siege The star and the Russian president date back years, likely to 2003, when Seagal attended the Moscow Film Festival and the two apparently bonded over their love for martial arts. The actor supported Putin during the annexation of Crimea in 2014, which he described as “very reasonable”, as reported Moscow time at the time.
In 2018, Moscow appointed Seagal as a special envoy to promote US-Russian relations “in the humanitarian sphere”.
In May 2021, Seagal joined a pro-Kremlin party called Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth, according to a video released by the party at the time.
Newsweek has contacted Seagal for comment.