Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has awarded the Prince Gorchakov medal to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations. Prince Gorchakov is a prominent Russian diplomat, state chancellor and minister of foreign affairs.
Igor Ivanov said that the medal is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals as a token of their merits in the strengthening of peace and development of international cooperation, maintaining of humanitarian ideas and values, as well as for attainments in the field of diplomacy.
Igor Ivanov recalled that the medal was established in 1997 in connection with the 200th birth anniversary of Prince Gorchakov. Earlier, the Gorchakov medal went to the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, President Vladimir Putin, as well as former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.
Igor Ivanov said that the Foreign Ministry collegium has unanimously decided to award the medal to the first foreigner, the secretary general of the United Nations.
"We and the entire international community know Annan as energetically working to seal the leadership of the United Nations in international affairs, ensure peace and stability," said Igor Ivanov. And added that Kofi Annan makes a weighty personal contribution to the strengthening of the central role of the UN, maintenance of international peace and security, political settlement of conflicts in the flashpoints, build-up of preventive diplomacy and potential of the United Nations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would never fall to the level of personal insults, Kremlin official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said