Putin presents Xi Jinping with Russia’s highest state award
Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented Chinese leader Xi Jinping with the Order of St. Andrew. The ceremony took place in the Grand Kremlin Palace, where talks between the two leaders are being held, TASS reports.
The Russian president’s decree says that Xi Jinping is awarded "for his outstanding contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation between the people of Russia and China."
The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called, established by Russia Tsar Peter the Great in 1698, is Russia’s oldest state award. It was abolished in 1918, but restored in 1998 in line with a presidential decree.
The Order of St. Andrew is Russia’s highest state award given to prominent statesmen, public figures and other citizens of the country who make significant contribution to Russia’s prosperity, greatness and glory.
At the same time, heads of other states and foreign prime ministers can also be presented with the award for their distinguished services to Russia.
The Chinese president is the third foreign national to receive the order, following late Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev.