(MENAFN - Kashmir Observer) MOSCOW — Russia conferred the Order of St Andrew the Apostle, the country's highest state award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday for his 'exceptional services' in strengthening the strategic relationship between the two countries.
President Vladimir Putin endorsed the decree on decorating Modi with the award for his 'distinguished achievement in development of the special and privileged strategic partnership' between India and Russia and it's people, according to a statement from the Russian embassy.
The Russian honour comes after a week of the Indian premier being awarded the United Arab Emirate's highest civilian award, the Zayed Medal, for his crucial role in boosting the strategic relationship between the two countries, Hindustan Times reported.
In a tweet, Modi said he was honoured to receive the prestigious Russian award and thanked Putin and people of the country. 'Foundations of India-Russia friendship are deep & the future of our partnership is bright,' the premier tweeted, adding that Putin is a 'source of great strength' for India-Russia friendship.
The award was established in 1698 but it was abolished during the communist era, before being reinstated in 1998. Since then, it has been awarded to 18 people, mostly Russians, such as AK-47 designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, former president Mikhail Gorbachev and author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
This is the seventh international award conferred on Modi since he came to power in 2014. The Zayed Medal by the UAE (2019), Grand Collar of the State of Palestine (2018), Amir Abdullah Khan Award is Afghanistan (2016) and Order of King Abdullaziz from Saudi Arabia (2016) are the most significant civilian awards given to the Indian prime minister by heads of Islamic nations.