Action star Steven Seagal granted Serbian citizenship

Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal

Serbia has granted citizenship to US movie star 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, Mr 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.

Mr Seagal is among the Western celebrities who have socialised 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.