Steven Seagal speaks out amid Russian invasion of Ukraine: ‘I look at both as one family’

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Steven Seagal is speaking out amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Most of us have friends and family in Russia & Ukraine,” the action star told Fox News Digital on Monday. “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.”

“My prayers are that both countries will come to a positive, peaceful resolution where we can live & thrive together in peace,” the 69-year-old shared.

KIRSTIE ALLEY VOWS ‘TO PRAY’ FOR UKRAINE AFTER BACKLASH FROM MAKS CHMERKOVSKIY, FANS OVER DELETED TWEET

Steven Seagal said he is praying for Russia and Ukraine to reach "a positive, peaceful resolution."

Steven Seagal said he is praying for Russia and Ukraine to reach “a positive, peaceful resolution.”
( Photo by Brett Costello / Newspix / Getty Images)

In 2018, the Foreign Ministry announced that Russia appointed Seagal as a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States. Seagal’s portfolio in the unpaid position would be to “facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges.”

Seagal is an accomplished martial artist — like Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actor, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, has vocally defended the Russian leader’s policies, including Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and has criticized the U.S. government.

That previous year, Ukraine banned Seagal from entering the country for five years, citing national security reasons.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

Russia's President Vladimir Putin gave Steven Seagal a Russian passport in 2016.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gave Steven Seagal a Russian passport in 2016.
(ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2016, Putin gave Seagal a Russian passport, calling it a sign of a thaw in relations with the United States. By then, it was noted that Seagal had been a regular visitor to Russia and had accompanied Putin to several martial arts events.

After awarding Seagal citizenship through a presidential decree, Putin, 69, hosted the actor and handed him the passport.

Putin told Seagal he hopes the ceremony, which was shown on Russian state television, is “also a sign of a gradual normalization of the relations between the countries.”

Ukrainian troops slowed Russia’s advance on key cities, at least for now, while a Ukrainian delegation arrived at the border with Belarus on Monday for talks with Russian officials. European Union defense ministers were also to meet, to discuss how to get weaponry they have pledged into Ukraine. Meanwhile, Western sanctions triggered by the invasion sent the ruble plummeting, leading Russians to line up at banks and ATMs.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal looks on ahead of a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin (not seen) at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on November 25, 2016.

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal looks on ahead of a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (not seen) at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on November 25, 2016.
(Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Russian military assault on Ukraine went into its fifth day after Putin ordered his nuclear forces put on increased alert, ratcheting up tensions yet further. Kyiv’s outgunned but determined troops slowed Russia’s advance and held onto the capital and other key cities — at least for the time being.

Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight. Long lines formed outside supermarkets Monday as residents were allowed out of bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew imposed Saturday.

Exact death tolls are unclear, but Ukraine’s president says at least 16 children have been killed and another 45 wounded, among hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other casualties. Millions have fled homes or the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.