Russia decorated President Geidar Aliev of Azerbaijan with the medal, For Contribution to International Security.
Vladimir Rushailo, Russia's Security Council Secretary, awarded him the medal on council behalf. Following a Rushailo-Aliev conference, the decoration ceremony was attended by a Russian and an Azeri delegations, and numerous journalists.
President Aliev is actively promoting Russian-Azeri law enforcement and secret service team efforts against organised crime, international terrorism and drug traffic, said Vladimir Rushailo.
While on a three-day visit to Azerbaijan, Mr. Rushailo joined hands with Ramiz Mekhtiev, President Aliev's chief of staff, to draw a 2003/04 partnership programme for the two national Security Councils, which has been signed by now.
On President Aliev's authorisation, Vladimir Rushailo invited Ramiz Mekhtiev to an international anti-drug conference, to gather in Moscow within the year. Mr. Mekhtiev is also welcome as observer to a secretarial session of Collective Security Treaty Organisation countries' Security Councils, Moscow, March 19-21.
Partnership within the Commonwealth of Independent States is among Russia's top foreign political priorities. Russian-Azeri contacts-bilateral and within the CIS and the Caucasian Four-are being upgraded to a strategic partnership status. "The Caucasus has developed into a crucial geopolitical node within that partnership," said Mr. Rushailo.
Any manifestations of Ukraine's military aggression after the announcement of the results of referendums should be regarded as acts of open aggression against the civilian population of Russia