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PM Modi receives Russia’s highest civilian award, dedicates it to people of India

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Moscow, July 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Tuesday conferred the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called, Russia’s highest civilian award. Russian President Vladimir Putin presented PM Modi with the highest state order of the country during a brief ceremony held at the Grand Kremlin Palace following the bilateral talks between the two leaders.

He stated that the Prime Minister of India was awarded the award for outstanding services in developing the special privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly ties between the Russian and Indian people.

“Dear Mr Prime Minister, dear friend, awarding you with the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called reflects the sincere gratitude of the Russian side for the significant contribution you make to strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between our states and people,” said Putin at the start of the ceremony.

“You have always actively advocated for expanding contacts with our country; even when you were the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, you put forward the initiative to establish sister-city relations with Russian regions, in this case, with the Astrakhan region,” he added.

The Russian President, in his speech, mentioned that having been the head of the Indian government for 10 years, PM Modi has truly contributed to the fact that Russian-Indian relations have acquired the character of a particularly privileged strategic partnership.

“With your direct support, the largest Russian-Indian projects in the trade, economic and military-technical spheres, nuclear and hydrocarbon energy, high technology and space are being successfully implemented.

“It is difficult to overestimate your contribution to the formation of a stable basis for Russian-Indian cooperation in the international arena, where both our countries uphold the principles of multipolarity and strict observance of international law. They work together to ensure stability, global and regional security, and closely interact within the framework of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation”.

The order has a badge, a star, an order chain and an order ribbon – silk, moire, blue. Those awarded for distinction in combat are presented with the badge and star of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called with swords. “Honoured to receive the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. I dedicate it to the people of India,” said PM Modi after receiving the award.

The order was established by Tsar Peter I around 1699 and is the oldest of the Russian state awards. It was abolished in 1918 and restored in 1998 by the Decree of the President of Russia. The Order of St. Andrew the First-Called is awarded to prominent government and public figures, military leaders, outstanding representatives of science, culture, art and various sectors of the economy for exceptional services that contribute to the prosperity, greatness and glory of Russia, ensuring its national security and sovereignty.

It is also given to heads and leaders of governments of foreign countries for their outstanding contribution to developing relations with Moscow. PM Modi is the first Indian leader to be conferred with this award which was announced in 2019.

IANS

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