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In news:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, the highest civilian award of the Russian Federation through a Presidential decree.

In brief:

The award is being given to the Prime Minister for his distinguished achievement in developing the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between Russia and India and deepening the friendly relations between the peoples of the two countries.

The award which is given for exceptional services has, since its inception in 1998, been conferred on 18 distinguished personalities.

It is the highest order and the oldest state order of Russia, first established in 1698. It was abolished under the Soviet Union but re-established in 1998.

Previous recipients include Chinese President Xi Jinping, and presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Other highest civilian awards:

Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud – Saudi Arabia

State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan – Afghanistan

Grand Collar of the State of Palestine – The highest honour granted to foreigners by Palestine

Order of Zayed – United Arab Emirates

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