Yegor Stroyev Gets Russia's Highest Award

Yegor Stroyev, the ex-speaker of the parliament's upper house, is awarded the Order for Merits to the Fatherland, President Vladimir Putin told the Federation Council on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Stroyev resigned from his post of Federation Council speaker, delegating his powers to Sergei Mironov of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, and was elected Honorary Chairman of the parliament's upper house. The president said he had asked Stroyev to remain the leader of the Federation Council about two months ago. Stroyev, however, opted for the Oryol Region and assured the president that the upper house needed a young energetic chairman. Having congratulated Mironov on his election, Putin stressed that Stroyev had been "a true speaker" during the six years of his leadership in the Federation Council. "It is hard to settle conflicts and unite prominent but very different people," he said. According to the president, the upper house "is almost completely renovated," which means it is entering a "new period of activity."