Steven Seagal offers to serve as governor of Russian region after Putin-approved candidate fails to win election
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (left) and American actor Steven Seagal pictured in Moscow in 2013 (AFP)

Actor Steven Seagal -- a Russian citizen since 2016 who has personal ties to president Vladimir Putin -- has volunteered to serve as governor of a politically troubled Primorsky Krai region.


Seagal told an audience this week in Vladivostok, the region's administration center, that he "would like" to become Primorye's governor, according to Russian media reports.

Results of a Sept. 16 gubernatorial election in Primorye were thrown out after the Communist Party complained the Kremlin favorite won in the final stages of the vote count, reported Radio Free Europe.

Election officials admitted the runoff was marred by "serious violations," and a new vote will be held in December.

The runoff was one of three so far this month that failed to notch a win for the Putin-allied United Russia party.

The 66-year-old Seagal, whose action films were popular in the former Soviet Union, claimed to have ancestors in the far eastern portions of Russia, and he told a film festival audience he would like to serve as governor of the region.

"I want to study Primorsky Krai, to see more -- and become your governor," Seagal said, according to Interfax.

The report did not indicate whether Seagal was joking, but he received a standing ovation.

"With pleasure, I represent the interests of President Putin," he said.