- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2014

The Baltic nation of Estonia has yanked an invitation for Steven Seagal to headline at blues festival “Augustibluus,” because of the American action star’s vocal support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Estonian rock singer Tõnis Mägi called for a boycott after it was announced the Michigan actor and guitar player would be headlining “Augustibluus,” a blues festival held in early August in the western town of Haapsalu for the last 20 years, The Guardian reported.

Estonians were particularly upset over Mr. Seagal’s recent comments supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea as “entirely reasonable.” Mr. Seagal was also quoted in March as calling Mr. Putin “a friend” and “one of the greatest living world leaders.”

Estonia’s foreign minister, Urmas Paet, said Mr. Seagal had become active in politics in the last few months “in a manner not befitting a world which honors states based on the rule of law,” The Guardian reported.

Festival director Indrek Ditman said in a press release: “We hoped the Estonian public would first and foremost see Steven Seagal as an actor and a musician. It turns out what they saw was rather a politician and a henchman. To many in Estonia, it came as a major surprise that the action movie hero is a blues musician. Likewise, the organisers and numerous others were unpleasantly surprised by his political views and public statements.”