Actor Steven Seagal—known for his work in films Under Siege and Above The Law—has now joined a pro-Kremlin party.
A Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth, a merger of three Vladimir Putin-supporting leftist parties, posted a video Saturday showing that Seagal, who became a Russian citizen in 2016, received a membership card. The party will reportedly take part in a Russian parliamentary election in September, The Guardian reports.
Seagal was assigned to improve Russia’s humanitarian ties with the U.S. in 2018. Last month, he visited Venezuela and presented Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro with a samurai sword. Seagal, an action star and martial artist, is known for starring in and working on several direct-to-video releases, as well as having an extensive sword collection.
In his welcome speech to the party, Seagal said he wanted a crackdown on businesses that cause harm to the environment.
“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,” he said.
Seagal previously took a photo with party leader Zakhar Prilepin, who has admitted to “commanding a combat unit in a conflict which has killed 14,000 people in seven years,” The Guardian reports.
Putin and Seagal have had a close relationship in recent years, after they were introduced by Bob Van Ronkel. “
“I was hired to bring Steven Seagal to perform with his band for another event with President Putin, so kind of was responsible for that introduction, and Steven becoming best friends with him,” Van Ronkel told NPR in 2018.