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  • 28 March 2014, 3:40

Steven Seagal Defends Putin's Crimea Actions

Steven Seagal has called the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Crimea "very reasonable".

In an interview with a state-run newspaper the action star said the politician is "one of the great living world leaders" and that he "would like to consider him as a brother".

Seagal, who is thought to be an acquaintance of the politician due to their shared passion for martial arts, also criticised America's "idiotic" foreign policy on Ukraine.

President Barack Obama has labelled Russia a "regional power" that is threatening its neighbours out of weakness, not strength.

Seagal told the Rossiskaya Gazeta Mr 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".

It is not the first time the Under Siege star, who is currently filming a movie in Romania, has weighed into the debate over the Ukraine crisis.

Last month he appeared on Russia Today as an "expert" panellist.

Russian forces have gradually seized control of Crimea since voters agreed to join the Russian Federation in a swiftly arranged referendum following Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych's removal.

In March 2013 Seagal, 61, and Mr Putin appeared together at an event aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among young people.

In what seemed to be a choreographed incident, Seagal rushed into a crowd of children trying to pose with Putin and pulled him out, as if acting as his bodyguard.

The star's action films are popular in Russia and he has met the president several times.

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