Putin, Steven Seagal open martial arts center
Russian President Vladimir Putin and action movie star Steven Seagal teamed up Wednesday to open a new martial arts center in Moscow.
Putin and Seagal were guests of honor at the official opening of the Sambo-70 center, which holds a sports school and a 1,600-capacity fight venue.
Various martial arts are catered for including boxing, sumo and the Russian fighting style of sambo, and there are also gymnastics facilities.
Later Wednesday, Putin is to meet sports coaches and experts at the center to discuss the development of children’s sport in Russia.
Seagal has made several visits to Russia, where his films are hugely popular and often broadcast on network TV.
Seagal accompanied Putin to a sambo tournament last year. He has also visited the southern region of Kalmykia, known for its wrestling tradition and strong Buddhist faith, of which Seagal is a devotee.
The actor played a Russian diplomat in 2009's Driven to Kill, which was partially set in St. Petersburg but filmed in the US and the Czech Republic.