Russia is looking at Steven Seagal to be the face of its weapons industry as it guns for first place on the world arms market.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the action movie star might head up an international marketing campaign to promote the Degtyarev arms plant, Russian news agencies reported. He accompanied Seagal on a visit there Tuesday.
"Today, we have as a guest at Degtyarev a famous actor who has played many various roles connected to the fight against terrorism: Steven Seagal," Rogozin said.
"The shareholders and I discussed the possibility of engaging Seagal for work on the domestic markets to demonstrate the advantages of Russian weapons in order to promote our brand on the domestic market, at major international exhibitions and to show them against the best American models, and on the whole, the best Western models," Rogozin said.
"You're ready to fight American [manufacturers] with your teeth and your intellect, and if Americans are prepared to promote and support you, that says we're learning new ways to work on corporate warfare markets," Rogozin told the Degtyarev plant, noting that production at the factory had significantly increased and a major line of products had been restored.
Russian officials are big fans of Seagal, who met President Vladimir Putin in March and claimed to have set up a meeting with Rogozin for a Congressional delegation last week.
He also said he helped set up a trip for U.S. officials in 2004 to Beslan, the site of a horrific terrorist attack.
Materials from The Moscow Times has been included in this report.