A recent interview with martial arts movie star Steven Seagal suggests he favors Russian President Vladimir Putin over President Obama and may eventually emigrate to the former Soviet country.
According to the Moscow Times, Seagal spoke with state-run newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta
on the set of his new movie in Romania in which he expressed support for Putin and his recent takeover of the Ukraine's Crimea region.
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," said Seagal. Furthermore, he thinks that the United States' attitude and policy regarding Ukraine is outright "idiotic."
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Although his popularity in the West has seriously waned over the years — IMDB.com places him 1,454th for overall star popularity — the 61-year-old Seagal remains more popular than ever in Russia.
According to CBS News, he and Putin have bonded over a love of martial arts
, particularly judo, ever since last year when the former KGB lieutenant colonel invited him to Russia to help promote the revival of a Soviet-era fitness program for youth.
"The first time I walked into his home I saw a life-sized statue of Kano Jigoro, who is the founder of judo, so I was immediately taken and impressed and sort of wanting to get to know this man deeper and deeper," he said.
Asked how well he really does know Putin, he responded "I know him well enough to know that he is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today. He cares more about Russia than anybody I know. And he's not afraid to get up and do what needs to be done."
In the long run, said Seagal, he "would like to consider him as a brother."
Like French actor Gerard Depardieu, he added that he might eventually move to Russia and become a citizen.
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