Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been honoured with Russia’s highest state decoration, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle. The order to award PM Modi the country’s highest civilian award was signed by President Vladimir Putin.
On April 12, @narendramodi was decorated with the Order of St Andrew the Apostle for exceptional services in promoting special & privileged strategic partnership between 🇷🇺 and 🇮🇳 and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples.@mfa_russia @MEAIndia @IndEmbMoscow pic.twitter.com/jUFt5aawxw
— Russia in India (@RusEmbIndia) April 12, 2019
According to a statement released by the Russian embassy, ‘The award has been given to PM Modi for “exceptional services in promoting a special and privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples.”
This is the seventh award conferred on PM Modi by a foreign country.
The Russian award comes barely a week after the Prime Minister was conferred with United Arab Emirates’s highest civilian decoration, the Order of Zayed, which is awarded to people who contribute to international leadership in strengthening relations with the country.
The award was established at the end of the 17th century by Tsar Peter I in honour of Apostle Andrew the First-Called. It was abolished after the October revolution of 1917 along with the other awards of the Russian empire. However, it was revived on July 1, 1998, as the highest state award of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin.
Between 1998 and June 2018, the award has been given to only 18 people, including weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov; writers Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II; doctors Valery Shumakov and Boris Petrovsky; singers Lyudmila Zykina and Irina Arkhipova; choreographer Yuri Grigorovich; and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
Among the foreign political figures who have received the award is President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.