On Thursday (03Nov16) Russian government officials announced the President Vladimir Putin had signed an order granting citizenship to the 64-year-old actor and martial artist.

The special decree granting Seagal citizenship read, "Naturalise in Russia Seagal Steven Frederic, born April 10, 1952 in the United States of America."

The actor has frequently socialised with Putin and other eastern European leaders including Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in recent years.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian outlet Sputnik News that the Under Siege star had been aiming to become Russian for a long time.

"This (was his) desire, he had really applied," Peskov said. "He had been really persistent for a long time and been asking to grant him citizenship, he is actually renown for his quite warm feelings toward our country. He never made a secret out of it, at the same time he is quite famous, as you know, actor."

Seagal is not the first movie star to be granted Russian citizenship by Putin as in 2013 the French born actor Gerard Depardieu became a Russian national.

Depardieu, who left his native France due to his anger at his homeland's income tax levels, has subsequently been banned from visiting Ukraine due to his support for Russia's annexation of the Crimea region.