Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos has handed to Vladimir Putin an honorary gold medal of the city of Athens "For Services", as well as a symbolic golden key to the Greek capital, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported. A citation by the municipal council of Athens says that the Russian president has been awarded the medal "in token of respect and friendship towards him personally and to the friendly Russian people". The Russian head of state, in accepting the award, described it as "very important" for Russia, since the medal was presented as an expression of respect for the friendly Russian people as well. After noting that in the course of the visit the Russian delegation "heard many kind words addressed to it", the president emphasised that "what is more important is joyful friendly faces of Athens residents" which the Russian delegation saw in the city streets.
The strike was defensive in nature and came in response to three attacks on the US military in February