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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Steven Seagal's support for Putin gets him blacklisted by Ukraine

Steven Seagal has been banned from entering Ukraine after being branded a national security threat. The Under Siege star has joined fellow actor Gerard Depardieu in being blacklisted by the authorities in Kiev.

The move comes after the 65-year-old was granted Russian citizenship last year, when he was personally presented with a passport by President Vladimir Putin. Seagal, whose grandmother was from Vladivostok in Russia's far east, has also previously described Mr Putin's seizure of the Crimea as "very reasonable".
The martial artist and musician later performed with his blues band at a concert for pro-Russian separatists in the breakaway region.
Ukraine's security service has reportedly barred Seagal from the country for five years, claiming he had "committed socially dangerous actions...that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine's security".

He has not publicly responded to the ban.

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 sparked the biggest crisis between Moscow and the West since the Cold War and tensions remain high in the region.
Kiev has warned anyone entering "temporarily occupied Crimea" without permission faces being banned from future entry to Ukraine.

Depardieu, who received his Russian passport in 2013 when he abandoned his native France in order to avoid higher taxes, has also been banned by Kiev. Russian singer Yulia Samoylova cannot compete at this month's Eurovision song contest in Ukraine because she was barred from the country for touring Crimea.
Seagal is a close friend of Mr Putin, with the pair sharing a love of martial arts, and has previously hailed the politician as "one of the great living world leaders".

The actor's fame peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but his action films remain popular in Russia.

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