Putin awarded Order of Alexander Nevsky to Lukashenko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky to his Belorussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. The awarding took place in Moscow, where the two leaders met to hold a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Union State.

President of the Russian Federation signed a decree awarding the Order of Alexander Nevsky to Lukashenko in August last year - on the day of the 60th anniversary of the Belorussian President. As stated in the decree, Lukashenko is awarded "for his great personal contribution to the development of friendly ties between Russia and Belarus, for strengthening bilateral cooperation in politics, defense, economy and social sphere."

"You already know how much we respect you. I would like to say once again that if it weren`t for your active, open attitude to the improvement of relations between Belarus and Russia, not only the Union State wouldn`t exist - although there is still much to be done - but also there would be no Eurasian Economic Community which unites not only Belarus and Russia, but also Kazakhstan, and another two countries are planning to join it, they are actually full members of our organization. This is a great constructive effort useful to our people. Thank you very much", Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the ceremony.

In his turn, Lukashenko said: "Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Now my patron saint - this patron saint - will hopefully protect me even more. Thank you."

The Order of Alexander Nevsky was awarded in Tsarist Russia (from 1725 to 1917) and in the USSR (from 1942). The status and description of the Order were established once again in 2010. It can be awarded to both Russian and foreign statesmen, representatives of the business community of foreign countries for their achievements in cooperation with the Russian Federation and assistance to the socio-economic development of the country.

Apart from Alexander Lukashenko, the Order of Alexander Nevsky in different years was awarded to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, honorable Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Metropolitan Filaret, the CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov, the TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, the LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Assistant to President Vladislav Surkov, as well as to the famous Russian businessmen Vladimir Potanin, Vladimir Yakunin, Viktor Vekselberg, Oleg Deripaska, Alexey Miller, and others.

Text and pictures by TUT.BY