American actor, Steven Seagal has been filmed expressing support for close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a lavish meal in Moscow on Sunday to celebrate his 70th birthday.
The movie star was filmed in a video giving a speech at the function on April 10, surrounded by several Russian elites targeted by Western sanctions amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Margarita Simonyan, one of Russia’s leading pro-Kremlin media moguls and editor-in-chief of RT, was in attendance according to the Financial Times. Russian state television presenter Vladimir Soloviev, who has openly backed Putin’s invasion and accused Britain of orchestrating the horrific scenes of civilian massacres in Bucha, was also seen standing next to Seagal.
Both have been placed on the EU’s sanctions list amid Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.
Dressed in his customary black shirt and yellow-tinted glasses, Steven Seagal declared to the pro-Putin audience: ‘Each and every one of you, you are my family and my friends. And I love all of you and we stand together, through thick and through thin.’
Despite the West’s united condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine, Seagal, who is a close friend to President Putin could get himself in trouble.
A long-time friend of Putin, the American actor was granted a Russian passport in 2016 and was made Russia’s special envoy to the US in 2018.
The pair have been pictured together on a number of occasions, and are thought to have bonded over their mutual love of martial arts.
Seagal has previously described Putin as ‘one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today’, and in February said in an interview with Fox News Digital that a propaganda from an ‘outside entity’ pitted Russia and Ukraine against each other.
‘Most of us have friends and family in Russia and Ukraine,’ he told Fox News Digital.
‘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.’