Peskov: Steven Seagal asking insistently to be granted Russian citizenship

Russian President Putin shakes hands with US actor Seagal while visiting an oceanarium at Russky Island in the far eastern city of Vladivostok

Seagal was asking for Russian citizenship "quite insistently and over a lengthy period", Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov told journalists.

The enduring bromance between Steven Seagal and the Russian President Vladimir Putin has been sealed after the American actor was granted Russian citizenship.

Mr Putin's spokesman said Seagal was known for his warm feelings towards Russian Federation and his status as a famous actor was a reason to make him a citizen.

"He is known for his warm feelings to our country, he never made a secret of it".

President Putin signed a decree to make the award to the martial arts expert, who starred in Hollywood action thrillers during the 1990s.

Russia's deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted on Wednesday: "I congratulate my friend Steve on the fact that now he has become our compatriot!"

This isn't the first time Putin has handed out citizenship to foreign celebrities he likes.

"So I was immediately taken and impressed and sort of wanting to get to know this man deeper and deeper".

Seagal isn't the first Western celebrity to cozy up to Russian Federation. Since then, several Western show business figures, including French actor Samy Naceri and Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst, have reportedly spoken about their desire to obtain Russian citizenship.

Depardieu said at the time he was leaving France to avoid proposed tax increases.

Other foreign celebrities to be awarded Russian citizenship by the Kremlin in recent years included French actor Gerard Depardieu and USA boxer Roy Jones Jr.

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