MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was one of a group of people who received the prize for Faith and Commitment instituted by the St. Andrew the First-Called International Foundation for achievements in the consolidation of Russian state traditions, the expansion of relations with other countries and the revival of spiritual sphere.
The winners’ names were made public on Monday at an awarding ceremony at the State Kremlin Palace.
Lavrov earned the prize "by his personal contribution to peace and security of nations and selfless service in the international arena in the name of Russia’s interests".
Another individual with an important personal status who received the award "for patriotic and civic stance and selfless commitment to arts for the benefit of Russia and its people" was the singer Iosif Kobzon, a household name for every Russian in the age group of 30 years old and older.
Over more than 50 years of his stage career, Kobzon has performed dozens of lyrical and patriotic song, some of which has earned places for themselves among national classics of the 20th century.
Apart from Lavrov and Kobzon, there were other winners, too. One of them is the famous Russian voyager, Fyodor Konyukhov. The organizers described him as a man who "projects a heroic image of the Russian man, the courage and spirit of the winner."
An award has also gone to Yevgeny Poddubny, a military reporter working for the All-Russia State Radio and Television Broadcasting Company, who has won special credit with Russian audiences for the coverage of developments in various international hotbeds of tensions and particularly Syria.
The St Andrew the First-Called International Foundation, which is a non-governmental nonpartisan organization, instituted the prize for Faith and Commitment in 1992. It awards the prize for achievements and consolidating the groundwork of the Russian State’s statehood, pan-Slavic concord, the union of nations friendly towards Russia, and the accumulation of spiritual foundations of social life.
The award consists of two elements, the Order Star and All-Laudable St Apostle Andrew the First-Called badges. Both are items of jewelry made of gilded silver and adorned with diamonds. They are attached to a clouded ribbon.
The list of the individuals who have received the prize in the past includes President Vladimir Putin, the Patriarch or Moscow and all Russia Kirill I, the Director of the State Hermitage Museum, Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, and the Chief Artistic Supervisor of the Mariinsky Theater, Valery Gergiyev.