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Ukraine bans American actor Steven Seagal for 5 years

FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U.S. actor Steven Seagal in the Kremlin in Moscow, during a ceremony to award a Russian passport, seen on table, to Seagal. A statement issued by the Ukrainian Security Service Friday May 5, 2017, said Seagal has been banned from entering the country for five years "on the basis of Ukrainian national security" without elaborating on the reason for the ban. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, FILE)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Ukraine has banned action film actor Steven Seagal from entering the country for five years.

Seagal, an American, was given Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin last year in a ceremony shown on state television. He has vocally defended the Russian leader’s policies and criticized the U.S. government.

A statement from the Ukrainian Security Service on Friday said Seagal’s entry was banned “on the basis of Ukrainian national security.” It did not elaborate.

Seagal also reportedly has spoken in favor of Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

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