Steven Seagal was ‘half joking’ about desire to govern Russia’s Far East region – agent Action star and martial arts icon Steven Seagal was apparently “half-joking” when he said he wants to become the governor of Primorsky Region in Russia‘s Far East. Seagal earlier said he was Putin‘s man and wouldn‘t mind the job.

Excitement erupted on Tuesday, when the actor arrived in Primorsky Krai (a type of federal district in Russia) to take part in the Pacific Meridian movie festival. There he told reporters he was Vladimir Putin’s man and would gladly become the governor of Primorsky Krai.

Seagal said his father’s ancestors came from the Russia’s Far East and he always wanted to learn more about it. But his agent Anar Reyband later clarified to RIA Novosti that Seagal doesn’t really have “any serious desire to lead the region. It was a half-joking reply to a question from the audience.”

Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016 under a law that allows foreigners to be naturalized in recognition of their services to Russia or their general achievements.

The actor also holds US and Serbian citizenship and thus cannot actually run for a governor’s office, according to Russian laws. While the whole statement turned out to be a “half-joke,” Russian political parties took it quite seriously.

The Communist party (KPRF) said it already has its own candidate for the post of region’s governor, yet it was ready to cooperate with Seagal. Parliamentary spokesman for the communists, Ivan Melnikov, suggested that the martial arts icon might actually have a few ideas on cultivating sports and healthy lifestyle in the region.

Liberal Democrats (LDPR), in turn, said that Seagal was an unlikely fit for the governor’s post, but might be able to lead a “popular militia” of sorts in the region instead. The party, however, was quite suspicious over the statement, and guessed correctly it was a “joke.”

Primorsky Krai held governor elections on September 23, which resulted in a near draw. The results of the vote were eventually annulled, as the Elections Committee received numerous complaints of alleged violations during the polls. A new vote is to be held before December 16. The exact date is still not set.

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