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On Tuesday, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that Kalashnikov won’t sign a contract with Seagal. The contract has been in discussions for over a year. According to the report, as the arms manufacturer is now unable to export its products to the U.S. following American sanctions introduced in July against specific Russian companies in the defense sector, featuring the actor in its ad campaign would no longer be in its best interests.
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Kalashnikov is downplaying the role of U.S. sanctions.
“U.S. sanctions have had no impact on our decision regarding cooperation with Steven Seagal,” reads a statement on the company’s website. The statement confirms that no contract with the actor has been signed and gives no indication that Seagal still could be hired in the future.
“At the moment, no preliminary agreement or contract with the actor has been signed,” reads the statement. “The concept of the brand has been revised but we don’t rule out the possibility of using a brand ambassador in the future.”
Seagal received a proposal to feature in ads for Kalashnikov last year and said he was interested. Since then, he has expressed support for the Kremlin over the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s policies toward Eastern Ukraine.
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