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Steven Seagal and President Putin 'Regularly' Meet

President Vladimir Putin, second right, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, second left, and actor Steven Seagal, right, watching athletes train Wednesday at a new arena at the Sambo-70 training complex in Moscow. Putin’s spokesman said the president regularly spends time with Seagal. Aleksey Nikolskyi

President Vladimir Putin regularly spends time with action movie star Steven Seagal, Putin's official spokesman said Wednesday after the pair attended the opening of a sports complex in Moscow.

"Steven Seagal came to Moscow on his own business. In Novo-Ogaryovo [Putin's residence outside Moscow], the pair met. The meeting was friendly," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by Interfax.

Earlier Wednesday, Putin and Seagal visited the Sambo-70 school in southwest Moscow, where they watched Russian martial arts stars training at the school's new facilities. Putin was visiting the school for a meeting on the development of physical education courses for Russian youth.

Both Putin and Seagal are keen martial arts fans. Putin has trained in judo, karate and sambo, the latter being a self-defense art that the Red Army developed in the early 1920s. Seagal is a seventh dan in aikido.

The new sports complex at Sambo-70, one of the largest sports schools in Europe, will be open to professionals and amateurs alike, Interfax reported. The school offers training in seven disciplines: sambo, judo, boxing, karate, sumo wrestling, rhythmic gymnastics and dancing.

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