Seagal, 69, received his membership card for the A Just Russia — Patriots — For Truth coalition in a ceremony posted on social media Saturday, in the American actor’s latest move to adopt Russia as his home.
The coalition formed earlier this year and holds seats in Russia’s lower house of parliament. It’s expected to take part in the upcoming parliamentary election in September, though Seagal is not eligible to run for a seat because of his U.S. citizenship.
Putin made Seagal a Russian citizen in 2016 based on their shared love for martial arts. Seagal has also frequently praised Putin in public.
On Saturday, Seagal hailed his new political coalition and called for a new law to severely punish businesses that pollute the environment. The actor also touted his own proposed “Steven Seagal Law” at the press conference on Saturday.
“We need to investigate, arrest and prosecute people criminally so that there is results,” he said in a video released by the party.
“Without being able to arrest people, when we just fine them, they are probably making more money off the production of the things that are defiling the environment.”
Putin tasked Seagal with improving U.S.-Russia ties in 2018 — a mission that has yielded questionable results so far, as the two sides remain at odds over many issues.
Nevertheless, Seagal has continued to represent Russia abroad. Earlier this month, for example, he paid a visit to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Seagal gave the dictator a samurai sword and posed with him for several photos at the time.
Seagal rose to fame in the late 1980s and early ’90s as the star of such films as Above the Law, Under Siege and Out for Justice.
He faced a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct in 2018, amid a broader #MeToo reckoning in Hollywood. The Los Angeles district attorney’s office ultimately dismissed two potential cases against him later that year, after determining that the statute of limitations had expired in both instances.
The actor has not made a film since back-to-back action movies in 2019.
— With files from Reuters