Russia on Friday awarded its highest state honour to PM Narendra Modi for promoting bilateral special and privileged strategic partnership.
“On April 12, 2019, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was decorated with the Order of St Andrew the Apostle – the highest state decoration of Russia – for exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples,” announced a Russian government statement.
The award was extended on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin with whom Modi shares a strong chemistry.The award was established by Czar Peter I of Russia in the 17th century, but was abolished following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. It was reinstated by the government of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin in July 1998, seven years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
From 1998 to June 2018, the order was awarded to 18 people, TASS news agency said. Among these, the most prominent were Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn (who refused to accept it). Former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev were other foreign dignitaries who received the award.