The initiative was proposed by Yana Lantratova, the head of the Russian Union of Volunteers, a group promoting civic initiatives across the former Soviet space.
In the letter, cited by Russian newspaper Izvestia, Lantratova explained that the American legends have "incontestable authority," popularity and respect among Russia's young people, and that they could become some of the campaign's key faces. She emphasized that "these figures are honored athletes who are known to be followers of a healthy lifestyle, and they respect Russia."
In a separate letter to Jones and Seagal themselves, Lantratova noted that "our task is to consolidate in the minds of young people a clear link between the healthy lifestyle which you lead with the outstanding results you have achieved in your sports and film careers."
The initiative also proposed using legendary Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, boxing great Nikolai Valuev, Ukrainian-Russian mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko, and others. Karelin has already voiced his readiness to participate. "I am ready to participate. We need to find arguments to create a civilized culture when it comes to the consumption of alcohol," he noted.
Lantratova explained that the choice of public figures for the proposed campaign was based on a survey of volunteer activists from the Russian Union of Volunteers and associated organizations involved in projects aimed at preventing alcohol and drug abuse among adolescents.
Last month, Jones visited Crimea, saying he'd be interested in applying for Russian citizenship. Seagal meanwhile, attending the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok earlier this month, expressed his disdain for US politicians 'playing propaganda games', adding that "lots of Americans love Russia, lots of Russians love America."
Rosalkogolregulirovanie, Russia's alcohol market watchdog, has announced plans to carry out a mass campaign promoting the measured use of alcohol, and is in the process of collecting ideas and materials for the campaign. Pending government approval, the campaign may be launched as early as later this year.