Ukraine has declared actor Steven Seagal a national security risk and banned him from the country.
The Ukrainian security service said it had forbidden Seagal entry to the country for five years, in a letter published by the news site Apostrophe. The service’s press secretary later confirmed the ban to other media.
Seagal’s outspoken support for Putin and his policies have earned the enmity of the Ukrainian authorities. The actor called Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine “very reasonable”. He 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.
The letter said such a decision is made when a person has “committed socially dangerous actions … that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”. The move comes after the actor received citizenship in Russia, which has backed separatists in a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin handed Seagal a Russian passport and told him he hoped their “personal relationship will remain and continue” during a meeting in the Kremlin in 2016.