Ukraine bans Steven Seagal as threat to national security

Los Angeles: Ukraine has banned American action movie star Steven Seagal as a part of national security threat, after the actor received Russian citizenship.

The Ukrainian security service said it had forbidden Seagal entry to the country for five years, in a letter published by the news site Apostrophe. The service’s press secretary later confirmed the ban to other media, reports guardian.com.

The letter said such a decision is made when a person has “committed socially dangerous actions… that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”.

The move comes after the actor received citizenship in Russia, which has backed separatists in a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin handed Seagal a Russian passport and told him he hoped their “personal relationship will remain and continue” during a meeting in the Kremlin last year, reports guardian.com.

After the ban, Seagal is the latest of several cultural figures to be blacklisted, including actor Gérard Depardieu.

Ukraine previously banned Russia’s entry to the Eurovision song contest that Kiev is hosting next week.