Action Star Seagal Backs Putin, Plays Down Sochi Threat
Published: January 31, 2014 (Issue # 1795)
Action hero Steven Seagal has played down security fears ahead of the Sochi Olympics, equating the threat of terrorism with that of going out to buy a bag of sugar and getting hit by a car.
With the Olympic Games little more than a week away, the action star — who counts President Vladimir Putin among his acquaintances — appeared on Fox News' Huckerbee show, telling the host that the chances of a terrorist attack were "extremely remote."
"They've got amazing assets in place with great liaison over the world. President Putin is doing the very, very best he can...so it's going to be pretty tough for anybody to pull it off," he said.
The country's Alfa counterterrorism units, whom Seagal said he knew "very, very well," were singled out for particular praise, with the actor calling them "some of the best anti-terrorist crack commandos in the world."
Related: Seagal’s New Russian Role
"By virtue of the fact that they have so much experience, you couldn't have a better group of guys out there searching for [terrorists], getting rid of them, or getting them neutralized," Seagal said in the interview, which aired Jan. 26.
Seagal also urged U.S. President Barack Obama — who enjoys a notoriously frosty relationship with President Putin — to pursue closer ties with Russia, saying "they should be our great allies."
"They are a very powerful country with spectacular natural resources and a wonderful leadership...one of the only ways we are going to survive without getting swallowed by other superpowers or being adversely affected is to be best friends with Russia," he said.
Seagal has traveled to Russia several times in the past few years, spending time with fellow martial arts lover President Putin and also traveling to Chechnya to meet the region's notorious leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.