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Action Star Seagal Backs Putin, Plays Down Sochi Threat

Published: January 31, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Seagal urged U.S. President Barack Obama to pursue closer ties with Russia.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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