Putin hands Modi highest state award five years after the fact

MOSCOW:  Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the...


MOSCOW:  Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the ceremony taking place five years after the Russian head of state signed a decree bestowing the honor on Modi.

Putin and Modi are holding official talks at the Kremlin, which began with a meeting in the Green Drawing Room of the Grand Kremlin Palace. The leaders then moved to the Andreevsky Hall, the throne room in the enfilade of ceremonial rooms, which is dedicated to Russia's St. Andrew the Apostle, after which the order is named.

Putin signed the decree conferring the honor to Modi in April 2019. The document states that the Indian Prime Minister was awarded "for his outstanding service in the development of a particularly privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly ties between the Russian and Indian peoples."

At a meeting with Modi in Vladivostok in September 2019, the Russian head of state explained that he wanted to give the award to Modi during a special ceremony in the Kremlin when the Indian prime minister arrives in Moscow.

History of the Order

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle was established by Peter the Great in 1698. In total, it was given to over 1,000 people before 1917. About half of them were foreign nationals. After the October Revolution of 1917, the Order was abolished. On July 1, 1998 the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle was restored as Russia’s highest state award by decree of President Boris Yeltsin. According to its status, it can be awarded to outstanding government and public figures and other Russian citizens for "exceptional services contributing to the prosperity, greatness and glory of Russia," as well as heads of governments of other countries for "outstanding contributions to the Russian Federation."

A total of 26 people have been awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle since 1998. These are Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, former President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev, Russian Academy of Sciences member Dmitry Likhachev, weapons designers Mikhail Kalashnikov and Herbert Efremov, writers Alexander Solzhenitsyn (who refused to accept the award), Sergey Mikhalkov and Daniil Granin, poet Rasul Gamzatov, poet and publicist Fazu Aliyeva, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin, Russian Supreme Court ex-chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev, doctors Valery Shumakov and Boris Petrovsky, singers Lyudmila Zykina and Irina Arkhipova, ballet master Yury Grigorovich, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, composer Alexandra Pakhmutova, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, as well as foreign political figures - former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In addition, former Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle with swords.


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Local Glob: Putin hands Modi highest state award five years after the fact
Putin hands Modi highest state award five years after the fact
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