Action guy Steven Seagal weighed in on the international dispute over Russia's annexation of Crimea this week. Spoiler alert: he's siding with his friend Vladimir Putin and not with President Obama, whom the action star believes is one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment. In an interview with the state-run Rossiskaya Gazeta, Seagal called Putin "one of the great living world leaders," adding that he "would like to consider him as a brother."
The fighting celebrity's American legacy is, at this point, more or less relegated to the pages of World Net Daily and Joe Arpaio's county in Arizona. But he's very famous in Russia, and has recently struck up friendships with a handful of Russian oligarchs. As the Moscow Times notes, Rossiskaya Gazeta's interview seems to gloss over Seagal's waning popularity in the West, presumably to insinuate that his comments may carry some bite overseas (if the amused response that greeted his previous comments on Ukraine is any indication, this assumption is not true). The Times paraphrases the general idea of those remarks:
In the interview on the set of a movie he is shooting in Romania, Seagal said President Vladimir Putin's "desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol … is very reasonable."
Criticizing the "idiotic" U.S. policy on Ukraine, Seagal said the American media coverage of the crisis was promoting the agenda of U.S. President Barack Obama.
The paper adds that Putin and Seagal bonded in part over their mutual love for martial arts. In fact, Seagal is helping Putin promote what's been described as a "Soviet-style" fitness initiative in Russia called "Ready for Labor and Defense.” In the interview, Seagal said that it's possible he may "sometime" apply for Russian citizenship. Guess that means he's done pretending to campaign for Arizona governor.