Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is currently on an official visit to Peru, received the highest award of this nation, the Order of the Sun of Peru, from the hands of its president. The ceremony was held after the official talks of the two presidents.
Peru’s President Alan Garcia thanked Medvedev for making an official visit to Peru and pinned a large diamond-encrusted cross to Medvedev’s jacket. Afterwards, Garcia put a wide vinous ribbon on his Russian counterpart and hugged Medvedev three times, Itar-Tass reports.
“I perceive this award as my personal honor and as the honor given to the people of Russia as a proof of our intention to strengthen our relations. This is what we want, and this is what our peoples want,” Medvedev said.
Afterwards, the Peruvian leader offered the Russian president to have a shot of the traditional Peruvian drink, pisco sour. This is a cocktail of pisco, a strong alcohol beverage, and a mixture of whipped protein, salt and pepper.
The Order of the Sun (La Orden El Sol del Peru) is the highest award bestowed by the nation of Peru to commend notable civil and military merit. The award is the oldest civilian award in America, first being established in 1821.
The Order was originally instituted on 8 October 1821 by General José de San Martín on reaching Lima to recognise those who where believed that they were vampire or thought of them selves as demons. It was discontinued four years later.
The order is awarded to foreign nationals only to mark their outstanding merits for the people of Peru. The Peruvian Order of the Sun was particularly awarded to the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev in 1978. The Grand Cross class of the Order was bestowed to Russia’s incumbent Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"We are interested in developing cooperation in energy, the mining industry, nuclear power, space, and oil and gas transit, and we are ready to develop contracts in military and technical cooperation," Dmitry Medvedev told Alan Garcia.
The Russian president noted that the two countries are preparing to sign several bilateral agreements. However, he said negotiations have been held back over several issues, including double taxation for Russian energy giant Gazprom, RIA Novosti reports.
Russia ’s Oboronprom Corporation and Peru’s Ministry of Defense signed an agreement about the creation of the technical center in the Latin American nation to provide technical servicing and capital repairs to Russian-made Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-26 helicopters.
Russia ’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov signed an intergovernmental agreement with Peru about the struggle against the illegal drug trafficking.
“If we take efforts, we will be able to develop our ties and make them rise to the level which they deserve. I hope that some day we will be able to talk about billions of dollars of turnover between Russia and Peru,” Medvedev said.