Seagal reportedly is busy filming every day, and is staying in Bucharest’s best hotel, along with his family, as well as drivers, bodyguards and assistants.
Despite busy schedule, Seagal found time to speak to journalists of Russia’s “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” newspaper about the latest situation in Ukraine.
We’ve decided to bring you a detailed translation of Seagal’s interview, which was originally published on March 27.
Seagal was first asked about the referendum in Crimea, where over 95 percent of the population voted to join the Russian Federation.
“I am not a lawyer, so its hard for me to assess this voting in terms of formal procedures, and I don’t know Russia and Ukraine’s legislation very well,” Seagal said.
“From the human point of view, there has always been pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian propaganda – but 96 percent of people, who voted for having Crimea in Russia, in a huge turnout, has to mean something. No propaganda, for such a short period of time, will force people to make such a decision, one way or another. Democracy is the expression of the people’s will, and they want to live in Russia. I think this is important,” the actor said.
Seagal went on to speak about Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovich as well.
“Yes, Yanukovich was accused of being corrupt, and it was probably so. And in reality, many world leaders are corrupted, it is hard to find someone who isn’t into something shady. Yanukovich was accused of being pro-Russian, but what would others do in his place, when about 20 percent of Ukraine’s population are ethnical Russians, who sympathize with Russia? And all of a sudden we have the EU, which didn’t spare any effort or money, getting deeper and deeper into Ukraine’s internal issues,” Steven Seagal told the newspaper.
“I currently do not see a person who could lead Ukraine. However, no matter who it is, he has to be elected in a democratic way, through civilized voting. Elections should be held. We shouldn’t forget that a large amount of population in Ukraine are Russians, so their opinion must be counted,” he said.
“There are a lot of people in Ukraine, who sympathize with Europe, and as a result we have a very difficult situation,” Seagal noted. “I think there’s one fact that we shouldn’t forget about – Margaret Thatcher was one of UK’s most powerful and influential leaders, and when the EU tried to enter the UK, she tried to confront that. After sometime, she had to exit the political arena. So, I think the EU shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Seagal went on to say that it was much more incorrect, when former USSR leader Nikita Khruchev gave Crimea to Ukraine, without asking any of the sides, without any surveys and referendums.
“So, if we can compare, it is obvious that the current situation was much more correct, as the people were asked, and they made their choice,” Seagal said.
At the same time, Seagal said that Yanukovich was overthrown unfairly, as “he was chosen by the people, no matter what kind of a man he was, and he represented the interests of Ukrainian people.”
“Yanukovich was overthrown by a group of aggressive nationalists, which represent only a small portion of Ukraine’s population,” he said.
Seagal noted that he visited Crimea several times, and said it was a “brilliant of tourism and nature”.
“I liked the Ukraine as well, but I don’t understand what Putin is being accused of today. He has repeatedly stated that the Russian army would not invade the territory of south-eastern Ukraine, but his desire to protect the Russian-speaking population of Crimea, its assets, the Russian military base of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol from that chaos that is happening now, in my opinion, is justified,” Seagal said.
With regard to the media outlets, Seagal said that not all of them are interested in bringing the truth to people.
“Politics today on a global scale is a game, where each player has his own interests. So, it’s no surprise that every country follows its own interests, while the media outlets are simple tools. It is often that not all lies on the surface, but is hidden deep, away from ordinary people.
At the same time, Seagal went on to say that being a republican, he doesn’t really support the policy of the U.S. president Barack Obama, and his administration.
“I am an American, and I love my country. There were presidents whom I have supported and sympathized, namely Reagan and Kennedy. But people of the Obama’s administration have totally different views on world politics, compared with Russia,” he said. “This is the situation, where both the U.S. and Russia have to improve their relations, and I am willing to help. This is a win-win game.”
Seagal also slammed the U.S. position on the situation in Ukraine, calling it “idiotic”.
“The Obama administration is pushing the sides towards bloodshed. It is obvious that the Russian Army is times stronger than the Ukraine’s Army, and if there’s an armed conflict, a lot of people in Ukraine will get hurt. How one can support that? People that make such statements will never take weapons themselves, they will watch others die on the frontlines. So I repeat – the statements of the U.S. administration are idiotic, and the position of the United States is simply puzzling to me,” Seagal said.
Seagal went on to say that the Americans today are not very well informed on what’s going on in Ukraine, and their opinion is formed on what they’re seeing on TV, especially on CNN, which distorts the facts and is the direct mirror of what Obama administration’s policy is.
“Sadly, many political regimes have learned to control the media. One of my friends called me recently and asked me what is Putin doing, has he gone crazy… I had to tell him that we can’t trust everything we see on TV, this is just propaganda,” Seagal said.
The action star said that if the U.S. was in Russia’s place, it would behave the same exact way.
“The CIA is mostly interested in keeping this conflict alive. Others who are interested are some people in the Obama’s administration,” Seagal said.
The actor went on to add that today, Russia is completely different from what it was in the early 90’s, when he first visited it.
“When I first came here, it was poverty and chaos everywhere, and it all started to change once Putin came to power. Russia has changed under his management. I’d like to say that Putin is unbelievably powerful, he’s been able to transform the country, and for me it is great pleasure to visit Russia every time,” Seagal said.
When asked whether he’d be willing to obtain Russian citizenship like French actor Gerard Depardieu, Seagal said that he loves his country very much and he believes in it.
“The U.S. doesn’t have a ban on having two citizenships. But I don’t want to give up my U.S. citizenship, because I believe in my country,” Seagal said. “Although I don’t have anything against Russian citizenship. Maybe, it will happen some day.”
“I am not taking any sides here. For me it is more important to become a diplomat, a peacekeeper, and help to establish bridges of friendship and understanding. Ukraine has gone through a lot, and right now it is important to calm down and be reasonable. I hope we can achieve that with joint efforts,” he said.
Below is a video interview of RT’s Liz Wahl with Steven Seagal, where he speaks about the same subjects and issues.
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