Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First-Called’, Russia’s highest civilian honour.

Key Highlights

  • This award acknowledges PM Modi’s pivotal role in strengthening the strategic partnership between Russia and India and fostering friendly relations.
  • The award ceremony took place at St. Andrew Hall in the Kremlin, where Russian President Vladimir Putin conferred the honour on Prime Minister Modi. 
  • This marked a significant moment as PM Modi became the first Indian leader to receive this prestigious award.

About the Award

  • The ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First-Called’ was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia.
  • It is Russia’s highest civilian honour and is reserved for exceptional civilian or military merit.
  • The President of China, Xi Jinping, was conferred the same award in 2017.

India-Russia Bilateral relationship

  • India and Russia share a historically close and multifaceted relationship, termed a “special and privileged strategic partnership” since 2010.
  • The relationship between both countries dates back to the Soviet era, with strong political and military cooperation.
  • India and the Soviet Union established their first formal diplomatic relations in April 1947.
  • The Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (1971) solidified this partnership, with Russia providing crucial support during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
  • India & Russia cooperate closely at several multilateral platforms such as the UN, G20, BRICS & SCO.
  • As per the Department of Commerce, in FY 2023 24, bilateral trade reached an all-time high of $ 65.70 billion [India’s exports: USD 4.26 billion; and India’s imports: USD 61.44 billion].

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