Feedback | Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was officially presented with Russia’s highest civilian honor, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First-Called, by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in St Catherine’s Hall of the Moscow Kremlin on Tuesday.

Notably, the award was bestowed on PM Modi in the year 2019, but he received it physically today.

“It is a testimony to Russia’s sincere gratitude to the sincere contribution you are making to strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between our nations. You came up with the initiative of twinning your state with Russian regions,” President Putin said while conferring the award.

During the ceremony, President Putin praised PM Modi’s decade-long leadership of India and his efforts to elevate Russian-Indian relations to a “special and privileged strategic partnership.” The Russian President highlighted the implementation of large-scale projects in trade, economics, nuclear energy, and space exploration under PM Modi’s tenure.

“You have genuinely strived to elevate the Russian-Indian relation to the level of special and privileged strategic partnership. With your direct support, Russia and India are implementing large-scale trade, economic…nuclear and hydrocarbon energy in high-tech and space exploration,” Putin said.

President Putin also acknowledged PM Modi’s role in strengthening cooperation between the two nations in international forums, noting their joint efforts in promoting multipolarity and regional security through organizations like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

The Order of St Andrew, established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, is awarded for outstanding civilian or military merit. PM expressed his gratitude for the honor.

“Honoured to receive this prestigious award. I thank President Putin and the people of Russia. The foundations of India-Russia friendship are deep & the future of our partnership is bright. Extensive cooperation between our nations has led to extraordinary outcomes for our citizens,” he said.

This ceremony was part of PM Modi’s official visit to Russia, which included bilateral talks with President Putin and a visit to the Rosatom Pavilion at the VDNKh Exhibition Centre in Moscow. The Prime Minister also addressed the Indian community in Moscow, where he announced the opening of new Indian Consulates in Kazan and Yekaterinburg.

The visit marks a continuation of frequent high-level exchanges between the two leaders, with PM Modi and President Putin having met 16 times over the past decade. Their last in-person meeting took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in 2022.

(Inputs from ANI)

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