Steven Seagal Cannot Run for Russian Political Office Due to Retaining U.S. Citizenship

U.S.-born actor Steven Seagal, who is also a Russian citizen, cannot run for Russian political office since he retains his U.S. citizenship, according to a pro-Kremlin party that announced Seagal had officially joined them Saturday.

Seagal, who is the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative in charge of Russian and American humanitarian ties, was granted membership to the A Just Russia - Patriots - For Truth party where he made a speech Saturday discussing penalties he is proposing for harming the environment.

"Without being able to arrest people, when we just fine them, they are probably making more money of the production of the things that are defiling the environment," Seagal said during his speech, according to Reuters.

The party previously told Russian news agency TASS that Seagal could not run for the lower house of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, due to his U.S. citizenship.

Seagal, who is also a martial artist, has been a Russian citizen since 2016 and is an avid supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Just Russia - Patriots - For Truth formed earlier this year after three separate parties merged into one.

Previously, Seagal was a member of the For Truth party that combined with A Just Russia and the Patriots of Russia in late February, according to TASS. Seagal is set to work on environmental issues in the recently established party.

The party is in control of a faction in the State Duma and is planning on participating in a parliamentary election in September, Reuters reported.

During the party's event where Seagal posed for pictures next to one of the group's leaders, Zakhar Prilepin, he discussed penalizing businesses that harm the environment.

A model bill prepared by Seagal was presented where an amendment would be made to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation which would define "the real terms for environmental pollution," A Just Russia - Patriots - For Truth said in a statement about Seagal's alliance with them.

The amendments were called the "Steven Seagal Law."

"In particular, imprisonment is threatened for violation of the circulation of environmentally hazardous substances and waste; for violation of safety rules when handling microbiological or other biological agents or toxins; for pollution of water, atmosphere, land, etc.," the statement said.

"We need to start with science. Science will help us understand what is wrong and how to fix it. We need to educate people so that they know how to fix it, how they should behave. We must organize the legal system in such a way that it persecutes those responsible for committing environmental crimes and had the ability to severely punish for committing such crimes," Seagal said at the party's event.

Seagal was appointed as Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative dealing with Russian and American humanitarian ties in 2018.

He is famously known for his acting work in action movies such as "On Deadly Ground" and "Above the Law."

He represents Russia in Venezuela and visited the country and its President Nicolas Maduro earlier in May, according to Reuters.

Newsweek reached out to a representative for Seagal for comment.

Actor Steven Seagal
US actor Steven Seagal during the German Comic Con at Westfalenhalle on December 1, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. It is the very first Comic Convention taking place in Germany. Seagal can not run for Russian political office since he still retains his U.S. citizenship. Tristar Media/Getty Images