Veteran movie tough guy Steven Seagal joined forces with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (13Mar13) to open a new martial arts centre in Moscow.

The Hollywood star and the politician were guests of honour at the official launch of the Sambo-70 venue, which will provide training in boxing, sumo wrestling and Russian-style martial art sambo.

Seagal and Putin aren't strangers - they have been unlikely pals since 2003, when they were spotted attending the Moscow International Film Festival closing ceremony together. They also reunited last summer (Aug12) when Putin paid tribute to the action man for his martial arts skills at a fight tournament in Russia.

The actor isn't the only U.S. celebrity hitting headlines for striking up odd relationships with controversial world leaders - former basketball player-turned-reality Tv star Dennis Rodman turned heads after he flew to North Korea last month (Feb13) to hang out with dictator Kim Jon Un in Pyongyang.