BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) - Serbia has granted citizenship to American action hero Steven Seagal.
The decision, announced in the official state gazette, came after the veteran actor and producer made two recent visits to Serbia, praising its populist leadership and saying he feels like a Serb.
During one visit, Seagal was offered to train Serbian special police forces in Aikido, a Japanese martial art that he has displayed in his blockbuster movies.
His visits were sponsored by a pro-Russian Serb group.
Seagal is among the Western celebrities who have socialized with Russian President Vladimir Putin and praised him despite the deep chill in diplomatic relations between Moscow and the West.
Serbia has officially sought EU membership but has been struggling to overcome strong opposition from pro-Kremlin nationalists.
Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.