Russia: Putin presents Lavrov with 'Order for Merit to the Fatherland'

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the 'Order for Merit to the Fatherland' at a state awards ceremony in Moscow, Thursday. Lavrov said it was “a thrilling moment … which I see as an appraisal of the work of the whole Ministry [of Foreign Affairs].” The awards were given to high-ranking Russian officials, diplomats and parliamentarians for their service to the country. The Russian leader said their work was vital regardless of the specific area, stating that there were no “secondary areas” and that they all helped in “the development potential of the state.” Among those who also received awards were scientists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes and cosmonauts.