Seagal has been cited as a national security threat by the Ukrainian government and has been banned entry to the country for five years, The Guardian reported. News of Seagal’s banishment was confirmed by the Ukrainian security service, the Guardian reported.
Seagal’s friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his outspoken support for his policies are the reason behind the Ukrainian action. The actor called Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine “very reasonable” and later played with his blues band at a concert in Crimea put on by a pro-Putin biker club, with the flag of eastern Ukraine separatists flying onstage.
Seagal, the star of the 1992 movie “Under Siege,” along with “Kill Switch,” “Out for a Kill” and “Driven to Kill,” was granted citizenship by Russia in November and was personally handed a passport by Putin.
The letter by Ukrainian security noted decisions to ban people from the country are made when a person has “committed socially dangerous actions … that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security.
In 2015, Seagal was included in a proposed blacklist of foreign cultural figures who “speak out in support of violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine” along with French actor Gérard Depardieu and many Russian artists, the Guardian reported. Ukraine later banned Depardieu and has also blacklisted more than 100 Russian films.