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News Link • Russia

From Putin's Hands: A Russian Passport for Steven Seagal

• http://www.nytimes.com, By CHRISTINE HAUSER

President Vladimir V. Putin personally handed over the actor's new Russian passport on Friday in a scene at the Kremlin that was considerably more muted than those in Mr. Seagal's movies. The actor sat across a table from the Russian leader in Moscow, his arms folded or, at times, his hands clasped in a gesture of thanks.

After the Russian leader presented him with the document, Mr. Seagal signed it, according to the Russian news agency TASS and other news outlets.

Mr. Putin told Mr. Seagal, according to TASS, that the two would not "politicize" the event. But the Russian leader, who has said he hoped for better ties with the United States after the election of Donald J. Trump, was also quoted as telling Mr. Seagal: "I would like to congratulate you, and I also hope that this small step will mark the beginning of the gradual improvement in our interstate relations."

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